I don’t know the man personally, I hear he was a very driven, hard ass, early on in his career. Maybe that’s what it took to be a leader of a technological revolution. Leaders sometimes have to pull their people into the future kicking and screaming.
Then Jobs was excommunicated from the company he co-founded by a board of directors who choose to live in the past and use tactics and strategies from the old school religion of corporate governance. Apple languished, Jobs moved on and found a new path of discovery – he never lost sight of the future, of innovation, of THE CUSTOMER.
And then Jobs was resurrected to bring back Apple from the depths of being a historical footnote.
And I’m sure you know the rest of the story – iPod, iTunes, iPhone, iPad and the iUniverse!
I found a video on Youtube that I thought was so interesting. You don’t need to be a technical guru to understand the conversation.
Jobs was speaking at what appears to be a technical meeting and he fielded a question from the audience. The questioner insulted Jobs, telling Jobs that he didn’t know what he was talking about in relation to the technical discussion at hand.
This is the new Jobs you see responding here. The reinvented Jobs, who is clear with his vision and who seems humble with his response.
Go watch the video and come back for my thoughts…
The number one thing to take from Jobs’ response is that any vision for a product starts with "what incredible benefits can we give the customer."
He understood that technology means nothing if people can’t use it or understand it. And he was thinking on a scale of selling 8-10 billion dollars in products.
The second, but equally important thing to take from Jobs is that leadership and innovation will result in "some mistakes [being made] along the way. That’s good! Cause at least decisions will be made along the way."
Don’t be afraid to act! Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! Don’t be afraid to innovate!
And always keep your vision centered around THE CUSTOMER.