In this post you’ll find a few of the most powerful business lessons from Steve Jobs.
Business like most subjects in life require lots of learning from us if we are to eventually become successful. The big problem however, is that more often than not, the amount of learning required is so much that it can take some years for one to acquire enough of it to make a difference. For more technical subjects such as computer programming this could mean a few years of intern work in a large scale project, while on business, a few years of intern work on a real business if you’re lucky to get one, or a few failed businesses if you are to learn it the hard way. The third option is to learn from the best. The best in a field tend not only to be the wisest and the ones with the greatest advice, but also the ones who stayed in an industry for long enough to learn how to be successful. When we learn from the greatest we shorten our learning curve by borrowing from them the best ways to do things, as well as the knowledge of what not to do . For this post that person is Steve Jobs.
Business Lessons I learned from Steve Jobs
As many critics as Steve Jobs had over the years, as well as his careers’ ups and downs, one can rarely argue against the fact that he was one of the best business man that ever walked on earth, and his brilliance was reflected on the growth of the technology giant Apple. Below are 3 great things I learned, and you can to, from Steve Jobs.
1. Focus on the costumer intently
The costumer is the center of any operating business. This might be a no-brainer to most of us, but it’s easy to get caught up on how innovative our ideas are, that we forget to ask whether it would really improve the life of the target costumer, or even more important, whether there is a costumer in the first place. Steve Jobs was one of those people who focused intently on the costumer, and one manifestation of this was on his obsession with user experience. On his Biography, the author mentions the idea that often in times he would obsess about aspects such as perfect color and shape for the Apple logo, in the same way an engineer obsesses about the efficiency of a machine. For him, the way the costumer felt about Apple’s products in terms of experience was key, and it should be to you too.
When it comes to offering value, there is no such a thing as offering too much of it. You might not be as design sensitive or creative as Steve Jobs, but you can certainly apply his obsession to the user into your own business. This means applying the lean Startup strategy of the building minimum viable versions of the product, and quickly looking for feedback by releasing to a small set of costumers. Instead of looking for great insights by thinking by ourselves, we can gain insights by testing our ideas in small scale product launches.
2. Stay “foolish”, stay hungry
Another valuable lesson I learned from Steve Jobs was to stay “hungry”. The problem with business and success in general is that the path to success can sometimes be so difficult, that motivation can Wayne if one doesn’t have a source of motivation to drawn from. And when you do become successful, another problem arises: it can be difficult to stay hungry enough to keep innovating. The top is a double-edged sword, and is also one of the reasons why we rarely get to see undisputed giants on any field. The giants of today are the midgets of yesterday, who were persistent enought to defeat the previous giants, and whose success might be limited to a few years if they don’t keep innovating. What Steve Jobs teaches us is to remain hungry. Which is to keep setting higher and higher goals, as you achieve more and more of your initial goals. Our businesses and the world need a continuous stream of innovative ideas to grow.
3. Offer the costumer the things he didn’t know he wanted
With increased focus on the costumer as well as a sustained sense of hunger for innovation, we can eventually be able to come up with products that deliver a solution for problems that the costumer didn’t know he had/wanted/needed. With Apple, Steve Jobs tried to accomplish such a feat by building products that were so amazing that after the purchase, the costumer wonders how could he live without before. This is easier said than done, and is also the subject of focus for many entrepreneurs.
Another side of this point is that It’s not enough to just innovate in our minds, but also innovate in the minds of the costumer. The world is full of people with creative ideas for products/services that if implemented no one would be willing to pay for. Creativity is important, but it’s worth is nullified if the innovation you made is not perceived as an innovation by the costumer. The costumer is the king .
Steve Jobs had on his own way a sense to what the king might want, and this is one of the reasons why Apple was able to build the “fan” base of customers it currently possesses today. Their products are more expensive in nature, but unlike most occasions, the price doesn’t constitute a problem to the costumer.
These are the three lessons I learned from Steve Jobs, but certainly not the only ones. By studying the greats we get to have a part of their greatness and genius on us, and if we get enough of it we can eventually become great people ourselves. So, if you’re planning to start studying Steve Jobs, an amazing place to start is his biography.
It is all about knowledge and experience 😉
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