Lessons from Steve Jobs
Some good insights on how Steve Jobs took Apple to where it is now in this Business Week article on Steve Jobs' new role at Disney:
The great thing about Steve is that he knows that great business comes from great product.I'm reminded of a line--maybe from Built to Last?--that says a company should be have values that are so important that the company would adhere to them even if the market penalized them for doing so.
For example, HP delivers meaningful innovation. By this principle, HP should value innovation even if the market penalized them for delivering innovative products. Judging by the quote above, it appears that Jobs has made "delivering world-class products" a core Apple value.
In fact, one of his first moves was to take an ax to Apple's product line, lopping off dozens of products to focus on just four.He simplifies the product offerings to let his teams focus on making those four products great. Instead of trying to appeal to a broader range of customers, focusing on four products likely drove deeper engagement with loyal customers.
...Apple has eschewed calls to boost market share by making lower-end products or expanding into adjacent markets where the company wouldn't be the leader. "I'm as proud of what we don't do as I am of what we do," Jobs often says.Knowing your customer niche--in this case, folks who are willing to pay the "Steve tax" for good design and simplicity--and deepening relationships with them is better than casting a wide net. And, simplicity is better than complexity.
Jobs believed that a small team of top talent can run circles around far larger but less talented groupsSmall teams innovate and embrace trade-offs; big teams throw in every feature under the sun.
This is one reason that Jobs, while a micromanager at Apple, plays a very different role at Pixar. He handles many of the business duties. But he's very hands-off on the creative side.He knows his limitations, and trusts the smart, creative folks he's hired to do their jobs.