Steve Jobs – Top 10 characteristics to inspire an entrepreneur
TheCodeWork Team | 30 June 2021
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Who is he? Who is Steve Jobs and why are we here to talk about him? Well, I am sure everyone knows about him already. But have you ever wondered what qualities of his you can absorb and retain to find success for yourself? Bingo! That’s exactly why we are here today!
Recently I watched his documentary – Billion dollar hippy and I couldn’t just stop there. I moved ahead and watched all the movies that I could find on the OTT platforms. You must be wondering why! Well, I started noting down takeaways for personal growth from the documentary itself. But I couldn’t limit myself to that time span. Suddenly I had to know everything about him, the gritty details and even the controversies.
Don’t worry, I am not going to start a debate on any grounds here. But I do want to propagate what I have learned from his journey. I am sure a lot of entrepreneurs are anyway inspired by Steve Jobs. I would still urge you to read along if you happen to stumble upon any point that you may have missed.
All these takeaways from the movies and interviews gave me a comprehensive perspective of Steve Jobs and his roller-coaster life.
You don’t want to miss this!
So here we go! Let’s talk about the top 10 characteristics of the hippy with a business brain.
Jobs didn’t any knowledge of coding, design, or tech. However, he revolutionized the entire world of tech. Like, how is that possible?
It took him less than 50 years in business, to change the world. He completely revolutionized diverse industries including personal computers, music, animated movies, phones, digital publishing as well as computing. Can you imagine?
So what led him to do that although technically he wasn’t qualified for this level of change? Traits. These traits are what made him the Steve Jobs that we know of today.
He had some exclusive characteristics that every entrepreneur should try and adopt. Check them out!
1. Stay Focused: Prioritize ruthlessly
A persistent, hard-core focus was deep-seated in Jobs’ personality which he kept nurturing all through his life. He insistently filtered out whatever he thought had the potential to distract him in any way. How inspiring is that?
Let me tell you something that I noticed in the documentary. This will throw light upon the “filtering” that I am talking about.
When Apple Sales plunged by almost 30 percent, the company panicked. They started manufacturing an unplanned array of PCs as well as peripherals, which included numerous varieties of the same product. Doesn’t make sense, right? But hey, they were panicking!
So finally, Steve Jobs took charge. At a board meeting, Jobs announced to decrease the number of manufactured products by almost 70%. What does this mean?
Well now, Apple had to produce just four products: a desktop and a portable device which would be designed for both professionals as well as consumers. Can you see the filter already?
No? See what happened is, his team members could focus on making just four exclusive products, one for every quarter. And voila! The company had turned in a profit of $309 million just a year later. Can you imagine the preciseness of the filtering process?
“Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do. It’s true for companies, and it’s true for products.”
Jobs believed in the “beauty of simplicity”. Jobs zeroed in on the simple features of a product by concentrating on its essence. He learned to appreciate simplicity during his first job at Atari – a Japanese electronic games company. You must be wondering how!
The thing is, the games developed by Atari were so simple and engaging that they did not even need a manual to communicate instructions. Exactly like Apple products.
Guess what? The sole instructions for the Star Trek game developed by Atari were:
“1. Insert quarter. 2. Avoid Klingons.”
Source: games database
Jobs had the view that – machines are supposed to be smart solutions that approach users in a responsive way, instead of challenging them.
“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.”
Detect a problem.
Question why it exists in the first place.
Think of the least effort that you can manage to solve the problem.
3. Strong will: Imposing his own version of reality
Everyone tells us to “follow our passion”. However, if I have to be purely practical here, it’s somewhat not reasonable in all scenarios. There is misdriven youth with misguided passion everywhere. Not everyone “can” follow their passion you know!
On the contrary, fall in love with what you do and see it grow and fit into your frame gradually. Look at Steve Jobs.
He was not passionate about PCs or computers. However, he was keen on building devices that made people set free their real potential. He started a computer company with his friend, to sell dreams in the form of a device. With time, selling that dream became everything to him.
See what I am talking about?
Taking a company from a wrecked garage to the pinnacle of success, wasn’t because Jobs suddenly realized his love for computers. No! What happened is that he knew that PCs had the potential to change the world.
All he wanted was to be a part of that digital transformation. And did he become one!
Be impulsive but don’t lose touch with your vision.
Analyze the future prospect of your “passion”. Work accordingly.
Once you achieve these 2 pointers, stick to your goal and never give up.
4. Marketing is everything: Inventor of revolutionary technology
Jobs is said to be the world’s ultimate business storyteller. The fact is that his success lied in building an expectation in the viewers’ minds, before hitting the finale.
“Steve Jobs is the ultimate showman who keeps the audience excited the whole way leading up to the reveal.”
Couldn’t agree more!
You know what? It doesn’t really matter if you build the most ground-breaking product in the whole world, or if you have a great idea! What matters is how you channel it out to the audience. If they are excited about it or not! Are you getting my point?
For every idea that turns into reality, there are millions of ideas that are wasted. Why? That’s because the creators failed to build up a compelling story for the audience to look forward to it.
It’s all about marketing.
Work on your communication skills.
Tap on the user psychology.
Connect with people and practice making the process smooth.
5. Think different: Pay attention to details
The aim of every product and service is to build memorable experiences for its users. You must improve their lives through the innovation of your product/service, right?
That’s exactly why people look up to Jobs. He didn’t just sell computers and devices. He basically sold the future, the underlying dreams. Wait, allow me to explain.
The exclusive details of Jobs’ success are in giving the users better means to approach their problems. Not just that. This made the users look for unique and better solutions as well. This is exactly where he pitched the products of Apple.
The best example of this would be – the iPod. Before the iPod’s launch in 2001, everyone struggled with the concept of digital music and the arrays of collections. And, Boom! Apple went on to build an entire system just to serve the music lovers – “1,000 songs in your pocket.”
And who doesn’t love music?All he did was – “Think Different”.
Also, talking of details, I have to tell you the story behind the retail store.
In 2001, Apple entirely re-engineered and revolutionized the retail experience for users. The shops portrayed a world of its own that rightly resonated with the simple yet elegant designs of Apple products. Here’s the result:
Users were more encouraged to test-drive the devices & products.
In the retail stores, only 25% of the allotted space displays products. The rest is allotted to display solutions.
One-on-one training while buying any product.
See the attention to detail? That’s Steve Jobs for you!
Just five years down the line since the inauguration of the first Apple store, the company reached $1 billion in annual sales — it’s the fastest in retail market history!
Work on details. You never know what chords you may touch!
Watch. Study. Refine. Sell.
Work on delivering user experience on all levels.
6. Quality over quantity: Content/design is king
As we know most of the big brands and organizations mainly emphasize sales numbers (quantity). There lies the difference! Steve Jobs always had a different perspective. He urged his co-workers and everyone around him to go for quality and not quantity.
Giving attention to detail, aiming for perfection as well as delivering quality products to your users is the key to success. In the words of Steve Jobs, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” How true is that!
And you know what? Once you achieve this mindset as an entrepreneur, sales numbers will follow you around.
Do not chase numbers. Work on the idea instead.
If you have faith in your idea, take risks.
Quality product is what the audience chases. Focus.
7. Ask for help if you are stuck: Kill that ego
Even a great visionary, like Steve Jobs himself, looked towards the opinion of great leaders and experts. Why? For wisdom, inspiration as well as decent advice on growing and improving at each step. Let me tell you a story.
When IBM had taken lead in the market, Steve Jobs went all the way to the then CEO of Pepsi – John Sculley to ask him to be the CEO of Apple at that time. He wanted his expert opinion and strategies to grow out of the dent that Apple had fallen into.
Obviously, Sculley did join him after Jobs said – “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life or come with me and change the world?”
Identify areas of improvement. Don’t work on the belief that everything is perfect.
Do not settle or compromise when it comes to your work/business.
Seek expert advice. You can’t control everything.
8. Connect your product to feelings: Live it
Here’s the thing! Steve Jobs worked to connect technology with user experience and feeling. He developed a system that made sure that people gave their best to whatever they were working on. That’s the experience I am talking about!
He made sure no one was working just for the sake of it. He loved something and allowed himself to get absorbed in it. Isn’t it what we call passion anyway?
Connect your work with your feelings.
Deliver products that the consumers will themselves feel great to use.
Keep improving the quality even of your best products. The sky is the limit.
9. Delegate tasks: Be a leader, not a specialist
Steve Jobs was a visionary. If you have to be ruthlessly upfront about it, he was nothing without his team and vice versa. The best part is that he knew it himself. As a result, he recruited individuals who were as passionate about their work as him.
How relevant, right? It helped the company gear up quality work on the ideas that Steve Jobs garnered. This correspondingly gave enough time to Steve Jobs to work on ideas in a fluent manner.
Know what you can or cannot do.
Create a team that can visualize your ideas.
Be the leader who would inspire your own self.
10. Learn, learn, learn
As we all know, Steve Jobs was a college dropout. But why? That’s because he did not want to do anything that he was forced into. Yes, he did drop out of college, however, he kept taking courses that he found interest in.
One of such courses is calligraphy. He studied various fonts and sans typefaces which were later used in designing Mac.
See how it all adds up?
Truth be told, the greatest minds take inspiration from diverse fields and successfully apply them to whatever they may be working on. By the unification of various interest fields, they come up with exceptional ideas.
There, you have the secret now!
Absorb knowledge wherever you find it.
Don’t force yourself into anything.
Never stop learning.
Wrapping it up, utilizing the takeaways from this article will enable you to take your startup venture to new heights. And trust me when I say this: there will always be setbacks.
Even Jobs had a great deal of roller coaster ride but nothing could stop him, right? All you need to do is understand the market and people in the best way possible. Only then you can come up with products that have solutions to their problems.
And what is the best way to know your market before releasing the final product? MVP – Minimum Viable Product. So do it. And if you want an extra hand while building your MVP, then we are here for you. Reach out to us at TheCodeWork.
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