Steve Jobs RIP: 3 things you can learn from Steve Jobs

7 Oct

Way back in 2000, I visited a friend’s place to look at a new computer she was raving about. It apparently had no Windows, which was very hard to believe. My initial thoughts were—must be one of those small learning devices for children. It turned out to be the iMac G3 with an awesome looking Blue casing. Although I don’t remember the exact specifications, I was very impressed by the looks and the overall user experienced. Sadly my parents turned down the request of buying an iMac citing my poor grades in one of the school exams.  Coming back to the point, the iMac G3 was an innovative and captivating product and all Apple products since then have been revolutionary. And the man behind all these products—the great Steve Jobs.

We all know about his life and the kickass line of products from Apple, so I will come straight to the 3 Steve Jobs qualities that inspire me–

Innovation and product design is everything

Think Different

Yes—think different!

All Apple products are known for the right amalgamation of the latest technology, jaw dropping looks, and excellent quality. He always supported product innovation.  He once said:

“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.”

All Apple products were market-changers. The iPod revolutionized how people listen to music.


The iPhone completely changed the mobile phone industry and catapulted Apple to new heights. Portable tablets existed before 2010 but only after the iPad released, people started taking the tablet market seriously.

What Apple does, other companies follow

After the iPhone released, many companies such as HTC, Samsung, Motorola came out with touch screen phones trying to cash in on the growing touch screen phone market. Similar thing happened when the iPad was released; there are now dozens of tablets on the market, some very good ones, but none can match the product design and popularity of the iPad.

Here is an excerpt from a 2004 interview:

You need a very product-oriented culture, even in a technology company. Lots of companies have tons of great engineers and smart people. But ultimately, there needs to be some gravitational force that pulls it all together. Otherwise, you can get great pieces of technology all floating around the universe. But it doesn’t add up to much. That’s what was missing at Apple for a while. There were bits and pieces of interesting things floating around, but not that gravitational pull.

We hire people who want to make the best things in the world. You’d be surprised how hard people work around here. They work nights and weekends, sometimes not seeing their families for a while. Sometimes people work through Christmas to make sure the tooling is just right at some factory in some corner of the world so our product comes out the best it can be. People care so much, and it shows.


Powerful Presentations

If you watch any of the product keynotes, you will get an urge to buy the product asap. I bet Steve could even sell you volcano insurance if he wanted to!

His keynote made me feel as if the product on offer was the most amazing innovation ever and I absolutely have to have it. All this with no gimmicks and simple, to the point product information. A few points that I learned from his keynotes:

  1. Simple dressing style: You don’t have to spend too much time thinking about what to wear for your presentation. Just look simple and ‘presentable’ and let your ‘talking’ do the main work.
  2. No gimmicks: His presentation slides were simple, focusing on the key aspects of a product with no over the top gimmicks.
  3. Convey why the idea will change the audience’s lives: All Apple products were BIG and innovative and Steve always focused on how a product will change people’s lives.
  4. Less theory, more pictures and videos of the product features
  5. Relaxed posture and body language: I am sure Steve Jobs like any other human used to be nervous before presenting a new product. But he always had a relaxed, calm posture and a positive body language that made the presentation very engaging.

I suggest you check out some YouTube videos and books if your job involves giving a lot of presentations.

Customer is king

I am sure you have come across Apple Fanboys who will debate with you for endless hours on how Apple products are superior to any other competing products. But these are only a fraction of Apple’s customers. The real reason why Apple products are so popular is that it has a large base of ‘satisfied’ customers.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index, which conducted interviews with over 70,000 consumers, found that Apple’s Macs have, for the eighth year in a row, satisfied more customers than any other company’s computers, earning Apple a score of 87 out of 100 on the organization’s scale.

Read more:

Steve jobs always gave customers the best products—from the crisp music quality and the famous click wheel of the iPod to the amazing ‘touch’ and multimedia experience on the iPad.

The Apple Stores are also responsible for Apple’s success story. Retail stores can be very expensive to maintain. Let’s look at India; until a few years back almost all electronic goods were sold through individual retailers. There were hardly any company-owned stores in Mumbai. The simple reasons is amount of resources required to maintain these stores. But Apple didn’t hesitate to open a lot of retila stores where they provided users with everything—hands on product demos, tech and software support, complains desk, and more. As per one article, over 50 million customers visit the 350+ Apple Stores every quarter.

To sum it up, know your customers well, give them quality products, and spend ‘money’ on customer satisfaction; don’t treat it as some overhead expense.

If you have your own Steve Jobs/ Apple stories, please post them in the comments section.


6 Responses to “Steve Jobs RIP: 3 things you can learn from Steve Jobs”

  1. Kunal October 7, 2011 at 8:01 am #

    He had brilliant ideas and had the vision to execute them too! But not everyone can use his products, they are expensive to say the least!

    I think people were awed by the products and him and felt the need to have them!

    Personally, the ipod classic was super, no other player offered 160 gb of storage.

    Steve Jobs was an innovator. But I idolise him for his individualism and the confidence that he knew he was doing the right thing

  2. Tushar Chhajed October 7, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish!
    -Steve Jobs

    The most simple yet inspiring lines ever. We have lost one of the greatest. make no mistake. Bow down. Respect.

  3. aakash October 7, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    i Dont think Steve izz dead…i guess he myt b sittin in heaven nd innovatin new application,for icloud…

    • Tushar Chhajed October 11, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

      Yes Aakash! He will always be there!! He stepped down just last month, working till he could. Thats how dedicated he was.

  4. jinesh October 10, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    Steve is making music sound great in Heaven…Hats off to u man…

    • Tushar Chhajed October 11, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

      You can be sure his mind is always working. His legacy continues! And it always will.

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