Steve Jobs and Apple have had a profound impact on so many industries, including trade shows, conferences, and events. For example, the mobile event guide would not be popular today if Apple had not transformed the Smartphone industry. Lead Management and exhibit booth surveys are currently being revolutionized by the iPad.
And, could you imagine working on a computer today without a graphical user interface, mouse, or track pad? What about how we listen to and purchase music? Apple revolutionized these innovations.
Here are the top 7 things I have learned from Steve Jobs in my tribute to him:
1. Less is more.
- Steve worked relentlessly to create an intuitive user experience for the products Apple produced. Ease of use won out over everything else.
- Describing these products in as few words as possible to capture their essence was equally challenging. Steve was a marketing genius. Who could forget the first iPod product description? Instead of some technical description of all the features, it simply stated, “1,000 songs in your pocket.”
Simple is hard. Less is more.
2. Build Great Products that connect with people.
Never before has there been a company that has connected with users more on an emotional level than Apple. It is simply amazing. Steve did not believe in releasing a product before it was ready. Apple is one of the few companies focused on the long term. They strive to build the very best products in the industry.
Corporate America, in general, is focused on quarterly earnings. Getting a product to market is more important than getting it right. For Apple, it was just the opposite. I hope to bring this same sense of “lets build great products that inspire” to the event industry and Alliance Tech.
3. Be Passionate about your work.
Steve Jobs was often referred to as a perfectionist. He worked long hours and loved what he was doing. In his Stanford commencement speech (link below), he talks about finding your inner voice and listening to it. If you are not doing something you enjoy and are passionate about, consider changing professions. I love what I do here at Alliance Tech. I look forward to getting out of bed and getting to work every day.
4. Never fear failure.
Apple, the company he created, fired Steve Jobs in the 1990s. It was one of the most public embarrassments in business at the time. Yet, he didn’t sit on the sidelines. He did not retire or become a venture capitalist. He followed his passion. His following venture, Next, was far from a hit or success either. He quickly burned through the fortune he earned at Apple and in a last effort to save Next he converted the company into a software business that Apple later purchased back. Eventually he was appointed interim CEO and created the “Think Different” campaign we are all familiar with today. Steve never feared failure. He had the courage to follow his heart and the wisdom to learn from his past.
5. Brand is everything.
Steve Jobs recognized early on the importance of brand. He created a marketing agency whose sole client would be Apple. His products and innovations would ultimately define Apple’s image. Apple re-thought the entire supply chain dynamics when Steve opened its first Apple Store. Today, Apple’s brand is one of the most respected in the world. Great products + great marketing = great brand.
6. Surround yourself with great talent.
Steve didn’t build all those great products by himself. He surrounded himself with a great team. A recruiter once told me that you will pay more for great talent, however, they can be 2-3 times more productive than a B or C employee. Get rid of poor performers as quickly as possible. Don’t kid yourself into thinking “someone is better than no one.” Great talent can do amazing things for your organization.
7. Stay hungry… Stay foolish.
Another quote from Steve’s Stanford commencement address. I don’t think this one needs explanation.
Below are a few links that capture the essence of the inspiration he brought to the world:
Steve Jobs “Think Different” Ad
Steve Jobs 2005 Commencement address