Steve Jobs (born Steven Paul Jobs; February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011), was one of the greatest American Entrepreneur of all time. Steve Jobs was particularly synonymous with the Apple brand. His life remains an inspiration to many of us not only as a great entrepreneur but as an excellent sales man.
Steve Jobs was a futuristic and visionary innovator, but make no mistake, innovation does not sell itself.
Learn valuable business lessons from Steve Jobs that could help you stay competitive in an increasingly competitive global world. Discover how he transformed his innovations from a wonderful product the market wasn’t ready for, into a product the whole world couldn’t get enough of.
5 Business Lessons from Steve Jobs
1. “Things do not have to change the world to be important”
Steve Jobs once said “Picasso had a saying – ‘good artists copy; great artists steal’ – and we have always been shameless about stealing ideas.”
Many entrepreneurs are stuck on the need to be original. This problem is not exclusive to entrepreneurs; almost everyone in the creative industry has this problem.
The need to be original, to have an idea so unique, that no one has ever thought about it. I’m handing you a reality check, there are over 6 billion people alive, I don’t have a figure on the number of people that have ever lived but it is a lot, yet you are searching for an idea that a single person is yet to think of, good luck, Call me when you find it.
Focus your energy on that your little idea, you already have a unique edge – you. That is all you need, two people can’t be the same, stop trying so hard to be unique when you already are.
2. “You can’t con people in this business. The products speak for themselves.”
Management guru Peter Drucker said “A product is not quality because it is hard to make and costs a lot of money, as manufacturers typically believe. Customers only pay for what is of use to them and gives them value. Nothing else constitutes quality”.
Quality can not be compromised. In the past many companies have gotten away with aggressively promoting low quality products but not anymore. The globalization of business means there are more options available to consumers and only quality products can stand the test of time.
Steve Jobs was a powerful presenter and sales person, a good salesman does not sell the features of the product, he sells the experience.
“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”
Apple products do not always have the best features on the market, yet they are all successful. This is because Apple deliver on its promises, they meet consumers expectations.
Remember Customers are not asking for the best features or the most sophisticated products, they want the product that delivers the best value for money.
3. Details matter, it’s worth waiting to get it right.
A team is only as strong as its weakest link.
“When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will see it. You will know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through”
Steve Jobs was a perfectionist; he was not one to compromise on quality. He believed every inch of his product should be perfect.
When you criticize a product, you do not start by criticizing its best features. You start by focusing on its flaws and a single flaw is really all you need.
I have used an apple product for a long time, since I bought my first iPhone, I have not enjoyed another phone, and every other tablet seems flawed in my eyes.
Apple products seem like the perfect product, the iPhone 5 is not too big for my pocket, it doesn’t promise bogus features but it has provided the same performance since the day I purchased it.
Every element of your business must be excellent. From the first person your customer meets which is most times the security to the point of exit you must satisfy your customer.
You would be surprised at the little things that piss people off, I don’t even know why I hate Windows 8, do you?
4. I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.
You need to be fully committed to what you are doing. Steve Jobs believes if you do not love what you do, you can’t keep up.
If you don’t love something, you’re not going to go the extra mile, work the extra weekend, challenge the status quo as much.
In 1985 Steve Jobs resigned from Apple after the board of directors sided with CEO John Sculley. Jobs was thrown out of his own company, he founded NeXT and bought Pixar and in 1996, Apple bought NeXT, and Steve Jobs returned to Apple.
“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”
Everyone has to pay the price of success or failure. You only decide when you want to pay it – early in your life or later.
There would be difficult moments, ask Justin Bieber and every other celebrity before him.
Business has its ups and downs, there are times when you might have to fire your best friend, there are times when you might think you have to sell your business but for Steve Jobs, you have to rise above all difficulties if you want to be a successful entrepreneur.
5. “Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.”
Steve Jobs liked to think of himself as a perfectionist but he acknowledged his errors and did not dwell on them.Many global brands have been relegated just because they could not abandon a bad idea. No one is perfect, customers understand that, do not force your customers to pay for your errors.
Every apple software update has its fair share of bugs, but the company keeps working on updates till it is good enough for its customers.
Imagine the millions of dollars and jobs Nokia could have saved by simply adopting the Android mobile operating system, instead they chose to spend the money on advertising a product the market is not interested in.
Instead of spending your resources trying to fix a mistake, why don’t you just accept it and move on.
Stay hungry. Stay foolish.
Do not rest on your oars, keep challenging yourself and work harder.
Phone manufacturers Blackberry and Nokia held on to their achievements for too long and it cost them market share. Blackberry is doing all it can to regain market share, including making it’s beloved jewel; BBM cross platform. Nokia has been acquired by Microsoft.
No matter how successful you are today, it doesn’t guarantee your place at the top tomorrow.
I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.