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I’ve jut finished reading the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. It’s a good read about the man who built and rebuilt Apple.
This post won’t try for any deep insights, no “he was a brilliant but flawed individual, blah blah blah”. It’s merely intended as a small list of key lessons from a successful dude.
- A closed system may be a better enabler for creativity, connected experiences and a better all-around product for users
- A players don’t like to work with B or C players. Only hire A players and get rid of the rest.
- Face to face interaction and tight co-location can lead to serendipitous discoveries
- integrated operations are very important in helping the company operate as a unit. Pillars block teamwork. Avoid the mistake Sony made with the iPod.
- you can and should have vigorous arguments with people
- don’t be afraid of starting over, of throwing away something that is stopping your product from being great
- there is no such thing as a single person having all the ideas.
- give credit, people hate having their ideas stolen or credit taken for them
- you aren’t Steve jobs. You can’t get away with shouting at people.
- being honest gets you a better outcome
- don’t forget or ignore your family
- better to be the one who breaks the model and leads from the front than the one who plays catch up
- creativity is a discipline too. It takes hard work.
- Users appreciate a great experience.
- Simplify ruthlessly
- You must have end-to-end elegance in design.
- You get great value in automation and automated logistics (e.g. iPods have 2 days of stock, cut down from 3 months) which saves them millions
- the boss can be wrong and needs you to argue with him/her
There may be others, but that’s a decent list of learning points.