Thursday, October 27, 2011

Latest slogan of Steve Jobs

If sketched recent years, various manuals bloom to reproduce the winning method of Steve Jobs, they obscure the essential ingredient: the man himself. Number of Cassandras have announced the end of Apple with Jobs that of both the man and his company have seemed inseparable, supporting their argument on the dark years of Apple in the absence of Jobs (and conveniently forgetting well the huge difference in context). Without his visionary angel in charge, who may well spur engineers and designers, and push them toward excellence? The error is precisely to try to do without Jobs.

The latest slogan of Steve Jobs for Apple was never to ask what he would do, for fear of society pour into immobility, intimidated by the specter of its illustrious founder, the image of what happened to The Walt Disney Company. How Apple can it continues its way without the supervision of its visionary founder?

Trust your instincts (as long as it is infallible)

Despite this wise counsel, Steve Jobs gave a diametrically opposed to his audience during his famous speech at Stanford:

Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. In a way, both already know what you really want to be. Everything else is secondary.

This advice was in fact valid only for himself, following his intuition, it is fine, it must still do not deceive you. If Apple has experienced tremendous success, because it took tremendous risks, and if she took those risks, because Steve Jobs had a strong belief in his choices, which have often proven winners. And if Jobs had more often right than wrong in its various options, it is unfortunately not the case for everyone.

Unlike the Disney-morality, or the American dream that Jobs is now one of the icons, it is not enough to have a pure heart and strong desire for something that your wishes are fulfilled. How many budding artists have vainly bent on pursuing a career destined to fail for lack of talent and despite the best will in the world? If the passion play for much of the motivation and personal investment, we must of course work, but also the talent and skills, which was not without Jobs.

It has indeed shown a great instinct and a sense of what works or not. This discernment, and faith he gave were the source of judgments sometimes bloody, between the world between excellence and mediocrity, who made his reputation as "the enfant terrible of Silicon Valley." Elitist behavior that evokes an excessive arrogance, but he clearly had the means. If we claim to believe overflow that can change the world, it is clear that it was legitimate when it succeeded. However, believing that it is enough to apply the recipe to achieve the same purpose would be illusory.

Mind you all (if you're competent)

Many anecdotes have illustrated almost morbid attention that Jobs was the smallest details, from beginning to end of life of each product which he oversaw the creation. Jobs was concerned about his Mac box, the noise was the jack of the iPod, the color of its machine tool production lines, until the color of the icon of the application Google iOS.

An attitude that can be catastrophic if the intervention does qu'enrayer the machine by placing risky choice. Customers From Hell site is filled each day with anecdotes to tremble on the preposterous demands of CEOs of SMEs who pride themselves on being advertising, graphic designers, or instead of their providers when they are clearly neither skills or expertise, to offer constructive advice and quality. Painter Jobs method without skills is promised a bitter failure.

Identify the problems that everyone ignores you

The contempt that Jobs had for the status quo and mediocrity were great tools to identify the problem at its root. By force of habit to the constraints that surround us, we resigned ourselves without even considering that another way was possible, and we were pleasantly surprised when Apple gives us a solution that no one hoped for.

As he demonstrated on his return at the helm of Apple, Steve Jobs was a man of "no": he knew the difference between the essential and the superfluous, out of its employees to work proposal. This discernment, he had a strong sense of mission of Apple, which does not earn money, which was a consequence, but to the best technology products imaginable.

Be who you are, do what you think

This mission, in the heart of everything that Apple produces a virtuous circle: a public acceptance that shares their values (see why people like Apple products), and investors on the stock market (it has always shown the utmost contempt on the share price, whereas it could only follow as Apple did a good job).

This business model almost defy understanding, to compare the practices of other companies. Siri icloud and have operational costs that nothing is profitable (subscription or advertising), their only logic is to provide "more product" devices to Apple, to make them more desirable, and therefore sell more. Apple wants to bring the most value to its users, from every angle she can attack. Unthinkable for Microsoft or Google.

For Apple, it is precisely by seeking profitability at all costs she compromises and pursues the wrong hare (and this is as it collapsed in the 90s). The benefits must remain a consequence, not a goal, and it is a natural consequence of the good work.

The first deep clean Apple's business, far from the cynicism that many captains of industry have accustomed us, also meant to forget the patronage, which slows innovation by definition: Apple has never used the market research to assess the potential success of a product, or to adapt in anticipation to the public taste. This results in products that have a bias honest, sincere, often risky, and rarely leave indifferent. This did not prevent failures, sometimes Apple to revise the copy if (mouse "hockey puck", G4 Cube, iPod HiFi ...).

The aura of Jobs and Apple in the industry has long intimidated competition, far from inspiring. It merely, at best, reproduce painstakingly the recipe, so "Sir Plus": more than gigahertz, gigabytes, interfaces, input / output ... while dropping the prey for the shadow.

Apple has hammered at each court proceedings it has brought against the followers who were inspired by it a little too close: it is only an answer of many problems specific, free to find each other. The formula applies to both Apple's CEO, past, present and future: there is no one single right answer, the key is to have the right approach.

The message will be finished by gradually be heard first by webOS, and Windows Phone 7, Android and soon, everyone has their belief and values, and the proposals differ, but not lacking so far relevance or interest: the consumer is only better off. While the computer industry has remained ossified in the single desktop metaphor for nearly 30 years, we are now witnessing in platforms and interfaces for creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit still unpublished. Without doubt this is the greatest value of the legacy of Steve Jobs.

The way that Jobs would have chosen would apply only to itself, with its qualities and defects. If Apple executives put their own skills to the services of the values that animated Apple in recent years, they can not honoring the memory of Steve Jobs, rather than strive to not only be a pale substitute, which would only result than to lose to Apple the sincerity of his approach. This is not to replicate what Jobs would have done, but the way it addressed the issues and problems, even make a very personal response. The result will undoubtedly be different, not necessarily worse, but the spirit remains the same.

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