Civil/Structural Engineering, Vashon, Washington, USA 206-463-5311
Ellisport Engineering Blog
Lessons from Steve Jobs

Over the years, I’ve searched for “pearls of wisdom” from successful business entrepreneurs and tried to learn something from their advice.  This all started years ago with my MBA training and the book “In Search of Excellence.”  There have been countless others since then. 

Recently, I stumbled across a PowerPoint article titled “Innovate The Steve Jobs Way”, by Carmine Gallo of BusinessWeek.  Aren’t we all a little interested in Steve Jobs and what made him a success?  How could I not read it? 

The article presents “seven insanely different principles for breakthrough success.”  I found it interesting, not quite as “insane” as the writer described.  Below is a brief summary of the seven principles:

1. The secret to success is having “the courage to follow your heart and intuition”.  In other words, do what you love.

2.  Jobs’ vision was to create a computer for the masses.  Inspiring visions have 4 components: bold, specific, concise, and consistently communicated.

3.  Jobs believed that a broad set of experiences leads to creativity (to him, creativity was connecting things from those broad experiences), and creativity leads to innovation.

4.  Jobs knew his customers well, avoided focus groups, and instead sold dreams, not products. 

5.  Jobs’ secret to innovation was “saying no to 1,000 things.” In saying no, his end product result was simplicity, clarity, and elegance.

6.  Apple’s retail stores were patterned after The Four Seasons, where Apple offers a “concierge-like” experience “enrich lives” and make sales soar. 

7.  Jobs was a master corporate storyteller, and he informed, educated, and entertained people about Apple’s products.  As always, communication is key.

I thought these principles were interesting, and worth keeping in mind.  The article finishes with an exhortation that businesses, when faced with challenges, should ask themselves, “What would Steve Jobs do?” 

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