I just finished reading Steve Job’s autobiography by Walter Isaacson. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. You can get it at www.Amazon.com for your Kindle reader, I Pad or even I Phone and probably for an Android device you may have.
While Jobs was mercurial, temperamental, a bully and totally lacking in social graces, he was also a brilliant “magician genius” who could charm the likes of Bill Gates to provide software for Apple, bully the likes of big music companies to help him create an Apple I Tunes store as well as to blow off Intel to develop his own A4 computer chip for the I Phone.
- When he took the reins back from John Sculley, Apple’s existing CEO at the time, Apple had hundreds of products in the works, far too many even for Apple to do a great job on. Apple was basically lost, so Jobs first task was to pear down the product list to just four or five that his teams could work on. The result was the I Pod, the I Phone and I Tunes followed by the I Pad. Makes you want to look at your products, doesn’t it? If you worked to make 2 open play programs not just better, but awesome and 2 league programs awesome, wouldn’t you be more focused? Or your corporate parties or fund raisers?
- Make the products the best they can be and make the users experience the best it can be. Focus on the products, not the profit. When Scully was in charge, Apple focused on the profits and the stock dropped to under $10. When Jobs was in charge, the stock went to over $400. Apple today is at $583 and the company is worth $546 Billion Dollars!! That’s what focusing on the product does for you and your company.
- The challenge for good centers, profitable centers and those that are surviving and wish to be even more profitable as well as manufacturers and distributors is, and this is our strategic challenge: How can we build a product or service that our customers don’t know they want until they see it. Now while I am a believer in market research, I think you need to start with a vision of a model to test as opposed to just asking people what they want. After all if Henry Ford would have asked people what they want before he built the Model A, they probably would have said, “A Faster Horse.”