Jobs’ tips for run­ning a busi­ness

Lesotho Times - - Jobs & Tenders -

STEVE Jobs’ ten tips for run­ning a busi­ness were de­liv­ered to the IT faith­ful at the CEBIT Australia expo like Moses bring­ing down the Ten Com­mand­ments.

And the faith­ful were grate­ful, not only to have re­ceived the hal­lowed tips, but to have re­ceived them sec­ond-hand.

As Ap­ple evan­ge­list Guy Kawasaki, who knew Jobs well, said dur­ing his key­note speech at CEBIT, Jobs was a fear­ful pres­ence in per­son who rou­tinely hu­mil­i­ated peo­ple in front of their peers.

Mr Kawasaki re­called an in­ci­dent where Jobs asked him for an opin­ion of a com­pany called Knoware, an ed­u­ca­tional soft­ware firm. Kawasaki branded it as medi­ocre giv­ing Jobs a litany of crit­i­cisms as to why. Jobs then said, “Well Guy, I want to in­tro­duce you to the CEO,” who was stand­ing right next to him.

“But I passed the IQ test be­cause if I had said that was a great com­pany, I would have lost,” Mr Kawasaki said.

Mr Kawasaki’s key­note cen­tred on the 10 lessons he learnt work­ing for Jobs, who he said had helped God cre­ate “Uni­verse 2.0”. Here they are: 1. Ig­nore naysay­ers. A neg­a­tive or pes­simistic at­ti­tude doesn’t work in a great tech­nol­ogy com­pany. He cited a West­ern Union in­ter­nal memo in 1876 which de­scribed the tele­phone as hav­ing no value, with too many short­com­ings — it wrote off tele­phony. 2. Don’t lis­ten to your cus­tomers. Rather, go with your vi­sion, pas­sion and in­sight. He said cus­tomers in the mid-1980s wanted a big­ger, faster and cheaper ver­sion of Ap­ple 2, but Ap­ple in­stead built the Macin­tosh — a to­tally un­re­lated de­vice. 3. Great in­no­va­tion is on the next curve, not the cur­rent one. He cited the ex­am­ple of ice mak­ers, made re­dun­dant by the ad­vent of ice fac­to­ries, but af­ter 30 years they weren’t the com­pa­nies that de­vel­oped re­frig­er­a­tors — the next curve. “Most com­pa­nies start on a curve and die on the same curve be­cause they de­fine their busi­ness as what they cur­rently do,” he said. 4. De­sign counts. Ap­ple was suc­cess­ful be­cause of the way it de­signed its prod­ucts, as the mil­len­nial gen­er­a­tion un­der­stood. He said you don’t see pic­tures of mil­len­ni­als us­ing a big black ugly lap­top, ex­cept in stock photography. 5. Democrati­sa­tion is a good thing. Ap­ple is in the busi­ness of democrati­sa­tion, he said. The Ap­ple 1, 2 and Macin­tosh changed the game by mak­ing tech­nol­ogy avail­able to peo­ple who didn’t have ac­cess pre­vi­ously. 6. Use big graph­ics and big fonts in slide pre­sen­ta­tions. Jobs chose 200 points for the main fonts and 90 points af­ter that. When you com­mu­ni­cate, less is more. Ap­ple has a 10-20-30 rule for Pow­er­point pre­sen­ta­tions: 10 slides, 20 min­utes and a 30-point font. 7. Chang­ing your mind is a sign of in­tel­li­gence and courage. It does not in­di­cate weak­ness and cow­ardice. The 2007 iphone, for ex­am­ple, was not orig­i­nally in­tended to have stand-alone apps, and any app for it was to be a Sa­fari plugin. Jobs changed his mind. The rest is his­tory. 8. Value is dif­fer­ent to price. Value in­cludes the to­tal im­pact of the prod­uct, not just its price. 9. Al­ways hire peo­ple bet­ter than your­self. If you are an A, hire A+. how­ever, in re­al­ity, a B manager hires C work­ers, and a C hires a D. Be­fore you know it, your com­pany is flooded with Z work­ers. 10. Prod­ucts need to be both valu­able and unique. The Macin­tosh was suc­cess­ful be­cause it had both. A prod­uct that is valu­able but not unique will end up in a price battle. Unique­ness with­out value, mean­while, was a case of “you are just be­ing stupid.” Dot­com com­pa­nies were typ­i­cally nei­ther unique nor valu­able, Mr Kawasaki said. — Theaus­tralian

FOR­MER CEO of Ap­ple Inc Steve Jobs

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