Steve Jobs was a truly modern, truly revolutionary businessman who achieved more in his life than many people can ever dream about. A college drop-out, coming from a modest family, he went on to become the founder of Apple and NeXT, was CEO of Pixar Animations, and was one of the board of directors at Walt Disney Company. There is much to be admired from his work.
Here are four business lessons that we can learn from this uniquely talented and successful man.
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‘Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. The design is how it works.’
Steve Jobs was always of the view that the working of a product matters more than how it looks. People might be initially attracted to something that looks stylish but if it didn’t do what they needed it to do, they’d quickly put it back down. That’s something we see in the design of many Apple products where the focus is always to simplify things instead of complicating them. If something is easy to use, more people will want to buy it. Sometimes businesses try to go overboard to increase their business finance and come up with something that looks different to others and has more features than is necessary. That can result in the device not functioning properly or people finding it difficult to use. So the lesson to be learnt here is that your market will grow more if you provide people with things that are efficient and easy to use instead of just looking pretty.
‘Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.’
The success of any organisation is having people who can come up with new ideas and have the skills to implement them. If you want to start a new business, then it will only be successful if you are able to provide something people don’t already have. Similarly, give them something they find exciting to use. That’s where the innovation factor comes in because even for growing businesses, they can never sustain their profits if they are not always coming up with modifications and improvements in the design of their products. Many times the growth of a company comes to a halt when they stop creating new products and just follow the market demand. That’s precisely what Steve Jobs did and is a sign of true leader; instead of following the usual standards he came up with new ideas and made them possible.
‘By expecting people to do great things, you can get them to do great things’
Steve Jobs was of the view that surrounding yourself with people who have the passion and potential to achieve things was the key to greatness. According to him, some people have the qualities to reach new heights, but they do not have the right people to guide and push them towards these heights. Hiring people who have the required skills is, therefore, very important. Similarly, if you have to spend time on someone who really needs to learn the basics, then it becomes difficult. You can easily beat your competitors if you have a team that is willing to give everything right from the get-go. In the professional world, you want to have the best team right away who do not require any teaching but just that extra push to get the best out of them.
‘Sometimes life is going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.
Steve Jobs was given up for adoption by his biological parents. He had to drop out of school because his family could not afford to pay his fee. In 1984 he was fired from his own company Apple. But he never lost hope and never gave up. According to Jobs, his best years were when he was fired because he was able to learn from his mistakes and start afresh. Don’t be afraid of trying new things just because you are afraid of failing. You just have to keep faith in what you are doing and that you are more than capable of doing it. Ignore the negatives that surround you and focus on the positives because eventually hard work and persistence pays off.
In conclusion, it’s always a good idea to make someone a role model and learn from their lives and Steve Jobs is easily one of the best and most inspirational the world has seen.