Although I’ve done lists on Steve Jobs before, studying his career is simply a wealth of ideas. There are always more lessons to learn from a man as influential as Jobs. So here are some more valuable business lessons from the legend who was Steve.
Simplify, simplify, simplify.
The iPod was revolutionary in its simplicity – it had only a scroll wheel and not the panoply of buttons people had become used to on high-tech devices. However, the iPod didn’t come to that point of simplicity easily; it was because Steve Jobs staunchly demanded it of his workers. He once said, “That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
The majority isn’t always right.
Jobs often shunned focus groups in favor of what he thought the customer needed. Although sometimes his ideas failed, overall he had great success with this approach. Sometimes what the customer thinks they want isn’t the same as what they will actually prefer. Although it can be risky going after this desire, if you’re on the money it can have big rewards.
Money isn’t everything.
Jobs once said, “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. …Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me.” Some businesses may not agree with this perspective, but it’s a great thought to keep in mind if you want to be a good businessperson and a good person.
Latch on to good ideas.
Sometimes, you might not be the originator of a great idea, but that doesn’t mean you should shun it. Steve Jobs didn’t create a lot of the features that were immensely popular on his products, but he didn’t shy away from using them. Be sure recognize good ideas and utilize them to the fullest, whether they originated within your company or not.
Sometimes you need to kill things.
Obviously not the literal sense, but in the figurative sense – sometimes there are projects that just need to be killed. At one point Apple began designing something like a Palm Pilot, but wisely it killed the project and began focusing on the iPhone instead. Some projects just need to die to make way for better alternatives.