All It Takes is 1 Man!

I recently happened to read the official Steve Jobs Biography. I knew that there would be stuff that I would find in it that would make even the most dedicated apple fanboy squirm.

Steve Jobs was no Saint.

He refused to help his girlfriend when she was pregnant with his daughter, refused to believe the baby girl born to his girlfriend was his daughter, did not speak to his daughter or accept her for nearly a decade, nearly forced his adopted parents to live in poverty to fund tuition fees for a course in Reed's College (One of the most expensive) which he eventually quit,  swallowed an entire chunk of profits on a project meant for both him and his close friend Steve Wozniak(who was the one who did the actual work and thought he was doing most of it for free), manipulated people to drive them literally mad ( Apple CEO John Sculley who had a mental breakdown), assumed credit for inventions which were never his own... I could go on..

But all that is forgotten when history will be written of Steve Jobs in the coming decades as the visionary who ushered in the Post-PC revolution. Computing would never be the same.

From what I read in his autobiography, I realised that there are certain things that he knew, which every CEO forgot as he journeyed through corporate ladders

Simplicity-Keep your portfolio of products, simple and straightforward. Then pursue them with razer sharp focus.
Every Product should be a source of joy to the consumer. Industrial designs can never improve the aesthetic of a product. His focus on even the aesthetics of the cartons which contained the product made sure that Product Unboxings were never the same.

As a CEO, the things I applauded where
* To know the consumer even better than the consumer knows himself
* No Product was made as an afterthought
* He personally supervised design, functionality of projects which weren't what other CEOS were usually concerned with
* He knew how to sell a product. He was the ultimate showman in Tech. His keynotes when launching the iPhones, the iPads have forever been etched into average consumers mind
True he was using hyperbole. But the products were as Jobs said "It just works" which was clearly taking a jab at microsoft's numerous problems with their Windows Operating System crashes and virus infections.
* He had an unbelievable sense of intution. He had been proven wrong in certain cases, but considering what he has achieved and his legacy, it can be comfortably said that his gut feeling was usually right.
* He was ready to take up risks if he felt it was necessary. One of his business principle was" If you don't cannibalize yourself, someone else will" on asked about whether an iPad will affect the sales of the Macbook laptop. He was ready to take that risk and this lead to new segments of computing, brining in the Post PC revolution!
*  And finally what I believe was so crucial and without which none of the above things would have been useful..He wielded what has entered into popular lexicon a "Reality Distortion Field". He was able to convince people so effortesly to do his bidding, to make them see his point, to convince people to do a work, a solution to a problem that was impossible.. Almost outlandish when someone hears about it for the first time. Of course he applied the same RDF to his cancer believing that it would go away. Which never did.

In short he had vision, clarity and simplicity of thought and he knew how to convince people to do what he envisioned. It will be a long time before we such a combination in one single package!!

To quote one of Jobs (and my) favourite quotes "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been"




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