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Learn from Steve Jobs

August 27th, 2012

It is Summer. In my case, that means no business trips; work from home; suffer under the Israeli sun; revive the system in advance of the Fall promotional season.

So blogs are few and far between.

What prompts me now to write is the impression made on me by the viewing of the ‘lost interview with Steve Jobs’.

It was made in 1995 by Bob Cringely. Only part of it was used for the programme he was making. The complete interview was lost – until now.

A VHS copy was found, was cleaned up, and recently was shown in theatres around the World.

You must see it. Find where it is being shown and experience it.

Why?

He may not have been the philanthropist, like Bill Gates or Warren Buffet. So no one’s perfect. Maybe Apple will still wake up and give something back to society.

He was asked whether he was a nerd or a hippie. Unhesitatingly, he said he was a hippy.

That’s what makes him easy on the ear.

Steve Jobs was unquestionably a genius. A man with great foresight. I was impressed by the time he sometimes took to answer some of the questions. Without any appearance of embarrassment, he’d keep us waiting 10 or more seconds. That’s a long silence in the middle of an interview. Hew was controlled, at ease, full of confidence.

At the time of the interview, it was 10 years since he was shoved out of Apple by Bill Sculley and the board, most of whom he himself had brought into the company.

He had set up the Next company, a manufacturer of niche software. (Eventually, that company would be bought out by…Apple – and eventually, Steve Jobs would be back in charge, pulling that company through several crises, building the company we know today, the most valuable in the World, with over $100 billion in cash reserves).

So what does he say?

* In any aspects of business, the best is not more than double the value or efficiency of the average. So the average is often ‘good enough’.

But in software, even computer hardware, the best may be 50 or even 100 times better than the average.

* He made it his business to bring the best minds into his ‘team’. The A’s. They appreciated working together with other A’s.

That’s how a team works – weaker members hold the team back.

* Sales and Marketing must have strong position in decision-making of the company. Production to a far lesser extent. Otherwise there is the danger of sitting back on one’s laurels. Need to be innovative to stay ahead, even though your new products may only be replacing the old. Keeps the production and finance departments happy, but leaves door open for eventual loss to innovative competitors.

* In Job’s opinion, Microsoft had (has?) an inferior product. No excitement. So the question arises, why are they (also) so successful?

Look around you – some of the largest and most successful products, whether cars, movies or music, are successful because they appeal the masses – and the masses traditionally do not have the greatest ‘ taste’ or needs.

* He was famous for saying: “I was worth around a million dollars when I was 23, over 10 million dollars when I was 24 and over 100 million dollars when I was 25 – and it wasn’t really important!”

* Certainly, in 1995, it was fairly obvious that the Internet was going to be big. But, long before Facebook made an impact, Jobs KNEW that this was where the future lay. Until then, the computer was for scientific and technical advance. But the Internet would make the computer a means of communication, and that’s what would make the BIG change.

You must see this. It is eye-opening. And to realise the great man, albeit not-perfect (who is?) is no longer alive….

Smile – Promote Your Dentist.

Stephen

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