By Michael Woloszynowicz

By Michael Woloszynowicz

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What We Learned From Steve Jobs

With Steve Jobs' passing of the torch, I think it's appropriate to reflect on the lessons we've learned from him and Apple over the years. Here are some of the most notable lessons that we can all use every day:

  • Good is never good enough, always strive to be great
  • Get good at saying no. Saying no is hard but it's the no's that will define the success of your business.
  • Screw featuritis.You can achieve great success without having every feature imaginable. Do what's really needed, and do it exceptionally well. 
  • Marketing and showmanship do matter. This is not to say the product can be mediocre, it can't, but how you position it is equally important. 
  • Your passion is reflected in your product, so don't do something if you're not passionate about it
  • Don't believe those that tell you something can't be done. Nobody believed Steve Jobs could get a fragmented and stubborn music industry to agree to iTunes, but his perseverance and tenacity ultimately won out. 
  • Don't just fixate on the product, your positioning, experience, and message must be consistent across everything you do. Apple feels like Apple in its hardware, software, packaging, accessories, website and stores.
  • Design matters... a lot! We live in a superficial world and people love things that look great. The practicality and durability of Apple's designs is often questionable, but people look past it and fixate on the beauty.
  • Usability is cool. I strongly believe that the recent rise in usability and user experience is largely attributed to Steve Jobs and Apple, and for this I thank them. 
  • Timing is everything. Apple didn't invent the touch screen phone, the mp3 player, or the tablet PC. What Apple did was wait until market conditions were perfect to introduce these devices. 
  • Almost every industry is ripe for change, don't believe in the status quo. Apple has become the most valuable company in the world by competing in existing industries and taking them by storm. 
  • Don't ever give up. From being ousted to cancer, to picking a company up from the brink of collapse, Steve Jobs never quit, neither should you. 
  • Have a grand vision. I have no doubt that when Steve Jobs begin working on iPod, he already planned how he would parlay its success into the Mac line and other products. Don't just think about your product, think of the big picture and the ecosystem that can flow from it. 
  • Turtle necks are cool?
I hope that Steve Jobs' legacy will carry forward not only at Apple but at more companies across the world. Even if you're not a fan of Apple or their products, the changes they've brought about have had a profound impact on our lives and transformed industries. Let's take these lessons and change the world by making products people are passionate about and love to use. We'll miss you Steve. 

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