Aad Berkhout

Supply Chain Manager/ Life Coach, Famar Healthcare Services

This conversation is closed.

What, in your opinion, is the secret to Steve Jobs success?

As an example of a true co-creator of the future what made Steve Jobs special so we can learn from it.

  • thumb
    Oct 6 2011: what everyone else said plus a few good acid trips.
    • Oct 13 2011: Actually, yes. A lot of what is being claimed on this man's behalf is ridiculously over the top. Not to mention unintentionally untrue. But this is a very good point. And well made ... like the back cover on a Whole Earth Catalog.
  • thumb
    Oct 8 2011: Steve Job's followed his heart, he followed what he was passionate about. If you follow your passion, what drives you, then you can never fail. This may seem to be very cliche but it is profound. If you wish to accomplish great things in life you must make sure you find a purpose worth supporting. Do not work for a company because you wish to make money, money is not success and it cannot measure your success. Success is something that is intangible, there is no time in your life where you can say okay now I can stop trying I am successful. Someone who truly wishes to be successful never settles, they work regularly to better them self and to better the world around them.
    • Comment deleted

      • Oct 13 2011: You are definitely on to something here. I think it is usually called 'facts.' The rest that I have read largely seems to be people painting the Prozac filled air with their own innermost hopes and wishes. I do not live in the land of Oz. It doesn't seem like a healthy or even reasonable place to be. Thank you for re-humanizing this real person.
  • thumb
    Oct 6 2011: I think he had a vision that was unique to him. He felt that technology should adapt to fit people not the other way around.
    • thumb
      Oct 7 2011: To have technology fit our likes and lifestyles is exactly the way it should be. Thank goodness for his vision that we don't have to conform to technology so that it rules our lives.
  • Oct 6 2011: The secret to Steve Jobs' success is that he trusted and followed his intuition. If something didn't feel right, he gave it up and did something else. He lived his life, not someone else's.
    • thumb
      Oct 7 2011: He indeed did live by his own words, thus creating a marvelous example. I will definitely "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish."
  • Oct 13 2011: Steve outsourced US jobs to China and elsewhere to make as much money as possible for his shareholders. Really! Why are we admiring this man for taking jobs away from Americans? We take celebrities MUCH too seriously here in the USA.
    A doctor working in "Doctors without Borders" achieves more in 24 hours than Steve Jobs actually did for humanity in his lifetime. Our heroes are all around us...the teacher who uses her own money to buy school supplies; the mother who works night shifts as a nurse to feed and clothe her children; the parents of disabled children who give up their lives to care for their children.
    These are the icons. These are the heroes. Not Steve Jobs or Brad Pitt or Bono.
  • thumb
    Oct 9 2011: Passion.
  • Comment deleted

    • Oct 13 2011: True, but only in the earliest bootstrap days. Those were the days that Wozniak produced something new for Jobs to sell. From Apple II to Mac one saw the technology begin to flag. They were re-using equipment and ideas that were all around them. Jobs saw this and hence the 'proprietary' closed box Mac. It was a product unsuitable to the largest, most competitive markets. From then on, they peddled style over substance always being technologically back a year then two from the rest of the industry. The iPhone is a good example of retro-tech with the stylish face. Never aiming at the cutting edge, and correctly appraising that Apple's market would never miss it, that was Jobs' insight. With that and some hardball software licensing deals (e.g. Pro Tools) to preserve key niche markets, he kept Apple going when it would otherwise have gone and been forgotten.
  • thumb
    Oct 7 2011: He believed in himself, his ideas, and was willing to take the risk to do things his way:>)
    • Oct 8 2011: His smart,never gave up any chance.and his good wife .
  • Oct 7 2011: This is something few on this forum are willing to talk about. They would rather see the hipster-friendly side of things, and pretend that Steve Jobs wasn't, above all, a brilliant and uncompromising capitalist.

    Steve Jobs said it himself when speaking to Nike CEO Mark Parker-- "Get rid of the crap."

    Getting rid of the crap quite simply boils down to removing all resource expenditures and endeavors that stray from this, and focus on the good stuff. Good stuff in a free market makes money, lots of it, and gives a lot of people the opportunity to earn a wage from the activity of selling it. This is what successful businesses do every day, and maintain as a model of operation. Those who fail to do this find themselves in bankruptcy court.
  • thumb
    Oct 7 2011: I think the best lessons to learn if not already is to live like you don't have another to spare, be happy with the things in your life and the things that you do, love fully and whole heartedly, do things big but maintain humility, be resilient, take a gamble on following your heart and be glad because you took the opportunity to do it; with that, connecting the dots will make more sense than to try and string it together going forward: with that comes too many restraints to live life freely. Be generous so that it can be passed on to others, be mindful, frugal, and kind. There's so much that comes to mind, but I think these are the big things that can be passed on from Steve Jobs. What great insight of things, what great ideas, marvelous concepts. Such a loss to the world, but what a wonderful impact he has made upon that world. He will be greatly missed, thank you for all you've shared with us Steve.
  • thumb
    Oct 7 2011: In my (not particularly) humble opinion, his greatest strength was not being afraid of having smart people around him. He surrounded himself with the right people to carry out his vision without letting his ego get in the way.

    If you surround yourself with yes men and non-threatening types, you're only going to tread the tracks already laid out.
    • thumb
      Oct 7 2011: I couldn't agree with you more. Whatever kind of person/people one decides to surround themselves with, will determine the level of forward thinking or setbacks you could have as your potential/potential future.
  • Oct 13 2011: He was ruthless. He was a world class spinmeister. He knew how to take. He did not often do this stupidly in the way of many contemporary corporate executives. Making was not his game. He knew how to duck and yet make it look like he was leading with his left. He was indefatigable. He was unshakeable in his belief in himself. At least he certainly seemed so. He wanted the world and it took him his lifetime to unfatally rightsize his grasp. Few ever accomplish that. He was an alright businessman but a far better marketer. Proof of this may be found in the fact that many of the plaudits he has received in the past series of days are borrowed from his own old press releases. Is there a more sincere flattery? He could take a bad idea and convince quite a few that it was a good idea. He could take a mediocre idea and convince a multitude that it was great. He could take others strengths and make them look weak and his weaknesses look strong. And with all the venal things that he was and is, he was and is, and will always be a dreamer. His dreams have great style. And, for me at least, he is as fit a symbol of the American entrepreneurial spirit as we have ever had.
  • Oct 8 2011: Thinking all the time .Treat everyday as his last .
  • Oct 8 2011: Innovation
  • Oct 8 2011: Howard, you're absolutely right that Steve Wozniak was an incredible engineer and contributed to a great deal of the design, but I think what you define as "design" is where there is a great deal of uncertainty. Steve Jobs had the innate ability to understand all the factors that lead to a product being great. He understood what the consumer wanted before they wanted it. He understood what it took to get the resources, which he displayed when he stuck the unprecedented deal with the record labels that lead to the introduction of iTunes. Wozniak designed the device, with the input from Steve's designing of the product. Those two things are very different. The device, is the physical hardware and software, the product is the end-to-end customer experience which dictates what the device will be capable of.

    Steve's ability to connect the dots is what makes him an innovator. I respect Wozniak greatly, and perhaps Steve might not have made it without him, but I believe that Steve would have found someone else. He was a master of pushing all the resources he had available to the maximum limit and beyond.
    • Oct 13 2011: Eric, you make a couple good points. However, you got the Woz/Jobs thing wrong. Jobs did not design something that Woz then implemented. The dot Jobs connected was to thrust himself forward and Woz into the background. It's funny when you say Jobs would have found someone else. You mean like when he did the NeXT project? Hmm. Even considering chicken and egg theory he never would have had that opportunity. The unsurprisingly 'unprecedented' deal with the abjectly failing record labels is a bit less impressive when one considers all the preceding shoulders that concept stood upon.

      I can tell you this. Anyone who designs new products has to understand what the market needs before the market itself does. Period. That is the very definition of the job.
  • Oct 7 2011: I think he partially answered the question in the last moments of his speech when he talked about the back page of the Whole Earth Catalog. He was able to dissociate himself from rigid beliefs and be open to new possibilities.
  • thumb
    Oct 7 2011: Well, man was a genius and a visionary. Plus he had a great "hunger" for his ideas ;)
  • Oct 7 2011: So this guy comes along who is a good talker and designs a touch screen computer interface for a music player/games machine that everyone thinks is great yet you can't really do anything useful on it like word processing or running databases or spreadsheets and you need a PC to connect to it to drive it properly and when the iOS updates come out they are so bug ridden that they wipe out your music library and you have to reinstate it from the PC. So tell me again why this is so visionary. Incidentally didn't tablet PCs do this and more about 10 years ago?

    Come on admit it he was a great salesman.
    • Oct 7 2011: Yes but Dennis the Achilles heal of the tablet PC was the obnoxious flip-turn screen and latch mechanisms that never worked very well and increased manufacturing cost. They also required stylus systems to operate the easily scratched plastic pressure-sensitive screens, and had a full-fledged operating system that was not really up to the task of being a simple touch-and-go interface.

      Apple was able to successfully provide less weight, better screen (gotta love that Corning glass), great battery life, sufficient memory (thus removing the hard drive), and an interface that is incredibly intuitive. The iPad is everything the tablet PC aspired to be.

      I still do most of my mobile work on a laptop, however.
    • Oct 7 2011: Dennis. Have you any concept of how to convert an idea to a product? And have that be a product eveyone can use or appreciate. Steve Jobs wasn't just "some guy who came along", he was THE guy who had the foresight and the talent to change - everything. A little humility and gratitude on your part may be in order.
  • thumb
    Oct 7 2011: Steve Jobs had the ability to visualize things before its actually created. That means he had seen iPod or iPhone in his mind before it has been created. After visualizing he had the guts to go after that and actually create the visualized thing. And thats what, I think, differentiate him from others.
    • thumb
      Oct 7 2011: Can you imagine the awesomeness of this? To imagine things so technologically advanced and have them come to in the form of such things. That is truely amazing and fantastic!
  • thumb
    Oct 6 2011: Steve Jobs is unarguably most loved and passionate technological evangelist, artist, anthropologist, inventor, investor and businessman of our times. Neither he was an astute geek nor an impractical artist. He was a firm believer of the human ability. He touched hearts, because he was genuine. He created extraordinary, because he had the courage to keep believing in himself despite all odds, life had to offer..
  • thumb
    Oct 6 2011: "good craft" is the secret. it's something that most designers know, but only the best understands. once you practice it not just in your design, but your way of life, you can be successful in anything you do.
  • Oct 6 2011: I think Steve believed that products should be (S)imple to use, (E)legant in design, and e(X)traordinary in terms of technology...the oomph needed for top-of-the chart positioning.
  • Oct 6 2011: No boundaries. No limitations. There's nothing that can't be done/fixed/improved if you stop yourself from thinking it can't. He did this for himself and he encouraged that in others. That's what made him great.
  • thumb
    Oct 6 2011: Passion for innovation plus power of execution
  • thumb

    . .

    • 0
    Oct 6 2011: Aad,
    You said it so perfectly. " A true co-creator "of life. To answer your question, the secret to Steve Jobs' success was having two equally massive organs; a heart as big as his brain - with a really big two-way connection between them. I wish the stem cell and genomics research budget papers had been signed instead of ... all those many years ago. That way a functional little organ, a new pancreas, would have been made from his own cells, to keep this extraordinary 56yo man alive and well for the benefit of all.
    • Oct 6 2011: I agree with the stem comment....but keep in mind....he was rich enough to have an organ grown outside of the US......just because Bush said no doesn't mean other countries will follow suit.....the US is not the world....(or the center of the universe as we are sometimes lead to believe) US law is not he worlds law and doesn't stop progress outside of the US.....Had I been in his situation, I would have had my pancreas grown in south africa or wherever stem cell genomics is allowed or encouraged....I would have funded it If I had to. This is bigger than the US, right wing, left wing, tea party, christian conservaitve, creation, muslim, Darwin, sharia, bush obama, bernanke......................and all the rest of the crazy US predjudiced self importance, sense of entitlement, racism, lookism and all the other "ISM's".
    • thumb
      Oct 6 2011: Juiette, my mother died from pancreas cancer allthough she lived a very healthy life without any excesses. When she asked the doctor what she could have done differently he responded that it was just a case of bad luck. Steve to my opinion, based on his Stanfort speech, was very aware and in acceptance of his mortality and allthough he was in the position to prolong his life with a couple of years in the end even he ran out of luck. This has nothing to do with how brilliant you are or how rich; in his own words "dead is the only reality we all share" this notion was a important driving force for him to create.
      • thumb

        . .

        • 0
        Oct 6 2011: Thanks Aad,

        I know I am very foolish that I am truly saddened by the premature loss of lives in these cases. The reason I placed Steve Job's speech up on the board as one top TEDtalk, was precisely because I knew that he is giving us all the gift of his wisdom, one last time, as he was well aware and prepared for his own ending and he was preparing us too ( lovingly).
        I am not asking for eternal life, not even for one hundred years of life for humanity.
        I am asking, so naively, that funds allocated to science research and finding a cure for cancer, be greater than funds allocated for war, in civilized societies. I am sorry to know your mother died of the same cause. I have a very heavy heart right now.
        • Oct 13 2011: Wisdom? What wise thing did he say besides "Do what you like because you will die soon enough." You already knew that. Call him an artist or innovator, but not wise or a creator. He didn't invent computers..he made them stylish..sort of a Ralph Lauren for MP3 players and telephones.
      • Oct 8 2011: totally right.
  • Oct 6 2011: His starting point was user experience rather than technology - and he was a genius at it. Where technologies weren't being used to their full potential, he asked a different question, which is what do people actually want to do - and how can I make it simple and easy.

    The best example of this is with mobile internet. I worked at mobile network 3 (in the UK) before they launched, when mobile Internet was the next big thing, but nobody could make it work. Everyone was trying to recreate the Internet to fit a mobile phone, except this was a crazy amount of work and the screen was too small, so you ended up with a very poor user experience.

    Apple asked a different question, which was how to make a phone fit the Internet. Having turned the problem on it's head, they invented the iPhone - a 100% new user-friendly experience - and the rest is history.
  • Oct 6 2011: When Jobs and Wozniak took the tour at Xerox Parc place Jobs understood what he saw in the research lab, it's relevance and it's importance. Xerox never capitalized on the innovations that Parc place produced. Steve Jobs did. Xerox R&D gave birth to the mouse, ethernet, the word processor, the GUI (Graphic User Interface -Known as the Star system), the spell checker and yes windows. All this would eventually turn up in the MAC and Microsoft. Xerox was making too much money on copiers and too focused on core business to even notice or understand what was in the R&D lab. Steve recognized and understood what he was allowed to take a peek at. He remarked to Wozniak after the tour, "I have seen the future". He and "Woz"also toured HP and had more glimpses of the future. Jobs had the eyes to see and the wisdom to recognize. Jobs was not a nerd (Woz was the nerd), but he listen to and understood nerds. He was able to package the visions of nerds with his own master vision into cohesive product offerings consumers would want to use. His real gift was intuition. He had a different kind of genius. Most big companies and big universites for that matter aren't setup to leverage his kind of non lateral genuis. He had to start his own company....he had to be the boss.....otherwise working for some companies "stick to core business" middle manager his talents would have been frustrated.