Lessons Steve Jobs Taught Business

Every once in a while a person dies who is so important to a particular industry that we are all forced to stop and think about that person, what they achieved and what their legacy will be. For me, most of this is summed up in the official Steve Jobs biography that has been released this week written by Walter Issacson a friend of Steve’s and it really is amazing.
As the title of the post would suggest, this post is about the legacy of Steve Jobs. No matter my opinions on himself or Apple, I feel their is a great deal we as businesses (regardless of size) can learn from this man. So without further a-do here are the lessons I think we can all learn from Steven Paul Jobs.

<h4><span style="color: #ff6600;"><strong>Customers Know More Than "Experts"</strong></span>

But this doesn’t mean they know how to tell you what they want. Steve ignored advice from experts for many years on how to do things, in essence because they thought rigidly and thought inside the box! Customers though, do know what they want, but no amount of customer surveys or testing can get this kind of information (we all want something else) – so be bold and take a leap of faith, do what YOU think is best.

Thinking Beyond This Launch
A big part of what Steve did with Apple was be part of the “next curve”. This means he maybe working on a project now or launching it, but his concern isn’t this project it is the next one or the one after. This meant Apple was ahead of the market, take the iPhone for example it was so far ahead of it’s competitors it was almost scary looking back. Steve thought beyond the current and this was a big part of his success story.

Demanding Perfection of Everything
Steve was well known for his high expectations of everything. From the design and colour of his warehouses to the standard of coding produced for Apple’s software. Steve would instil a level of fear in people so high many have broke, but this fear can be good. It may have meant Steve was a jerk sometimes but fear can drive productivity and perfection, Steve knew and used this to his advantage. Demand nothing less than perfection.

 Changing Your Mind Is Intelligent
One of the funnier things Steve did was appear to “mis-direct” information. Take the iPad, Steve claimed for years nobody wanted something this size etc and then he did it. In the biography there is mention by Steve that he “cracked” the secret to an Apple TV! We know the prototypes exist, yet Steve always said it was just a hobby and it was unlikely they would go down that route. What I am saying is that even the guys at the top change their minds, and that is because things change as times goes on. Which is why #2 is so important.

Value is Different to Price
Think about Apple and Acer. Which one instils a greater value? Most people would say Apple, but why? The answer is that Apple has a heightened sense of customer service, quality and overall greatness to its products – these all increase the value of a product to potential consumers and why people will buy again and again from Apple. Price is not everything. If it was, nobody would buy from Apple – they just aren’t cheap products.

Real Companies Must Ship!
One of the things, looking back at his Apple career since 2001 (when the first iPod arrived), I notice about Steve is that he knew when a product was great and he knew how to ship. Steve did not mess around with design for messing around’s sake, because of his demand for perfection things may not always quite have been that but they were great enough to ship and launch. Steve knew time was of the essence if Apple was to be ahead of the market competitors. Steve, was a real CEO and knew how to ship!

Real Companies Take Risks
It sounds dumb, banks will tell you not too, so will your family and friends and business advisor’s.  But taking a risk, a leap of faith, in business can set you apart. Whether you take a risk on launching something early or hiring someone without the qualifications but the right ideas and confidence – a risk is a risk. In life if you are confident you can succeed with risks, Steve was confident and took risks, he didn’t know if a product would be successful but boy did he believe it would be and he made it successful. Risks make your business different, take a risk today.

Never Give Up
One huge lesson I learnt from Steve Jobs is never ever give up. Steve knew what he wanted and knew he could get there, obstacles are there to be hurdled not to become barriers to success. Take on the obstacles and you will win, but turn around and your whole company may fail. Stand up for your product, your business and believe in them. Have confidence and never give up.

Innovation is Vital
This speaks for itself. Think about how Apple innovated the phone market, in less than 10 years we’ve gone from bricks to smart-phones and it’s all thanks to Steve. His idea and want of innovation and perfection led to the iPhone it also led to the next generations of phones across the world. Steve knew innovation was vital, and like in #2 he was always ahead of the game.

Time is Limited
Steve Jobs died young, 56. But did you know he had been telling people for over 20 years he knew he would die young, and that he actually predicted his death would come earlier in his life. This thought and almost obsession of his of death, again revealed fully in his biography,  drove him to go further and faster. He knew life was not infinite and things you can do today should not be put off until tomorrow. Take a leaf out of Steve’s book, do things now not later.

These are the 10 lessons I learnt from Steve Jobs, what lessons did you learn from him? let us know, leave a tweet below.
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