Steve Jobs: good business, bad humanity.

Steve jobs

Steve jobs

This week I finished “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson.

It’s quite an easy read for such a big book – and as a major Apple fan, I’ve always been fascinated by the man who created Apple, and was part of changing the world as we know it.

I’m extremely grateful for all Steve Jobs (and Apple) did…but I never want to be a person like he was.

He’s someone who was incredibly intelligent and brought so much good to the world, but at the cost of bringing great pain, trouble, hurt, anger, and frustration to so many good people along the way.

From reading this book, and watching the films about Jobs, and using his products, there are many lessons about doing good business. And also lessons about being the best person I can be.

To use my talents, yes. But never at the cost of things like kindness. Service. Graciousness. Compassion.

Qualities of Jobs:

  • Genius
  • Wanted control
  • Lied
  • Arrogant
  • Served himself above all
  • Rules didn’t apply to him
  • Wanted perfection
  • Loved simplicity
  • Wanted complete loyalty (to himself)
  • Useless without his company (entire identity wrapped up in it)
  • True intuition (almost magical)
  • Pathological
  • Relentlessly curious
  • Loved negotiation, hated compromise
  • Selfish
  • Remarkable creativity
  • Obsessed with his own image
  • Not willing to change
  • Would stop if it wasn’t right
  • Didn’t get kinder (even when death stared him in the face)
  • Uncanny ability to create things we don’t need, and suddenly can’t live without

That’s a serious list. There are only five items on it I would like to emulate, which are:

  • Loved simplicity
  • True intuition (almost magical)
  • Relentlessly curious
  • Remarkable creativity
  • Would stop if it wasn’t right

All the others are a good example of who not to be. (I skipped ‘genius’ because although it’s positive, it’s not something you can work on. You’re either genius, or you’re not.)

Some of my favourite quotes of his (or about him and Apple) really made me think about my business, and how I run it. There are some powerful, good lessons to learn – even from a man whose character I don’t admire.

“We believe that it’s technology married with humanities that yields us the result that makes our heart sing.”

“The journey is the reward.”

“What are the five products you want to focus on? Get rid of the rest, because they’re dragging you down. They’re causing you to turn out products that are adequate but not great.”

“Even with a small market share, Apple was able to maintain a huge profit margin while other computer makers were commoditised. In 2010, for example, Apple had just 7% of the revenue in the personal computer market, but it grabbed 35% of the operating profit.”

“Sure, it’s great to make a profit, because that was what allowed you to make great products. But the products, not the profits, were the motivation. It’s a subtle difference, but it ends up meaning everything: the people you hire, who gets promoted, what you discuss in meetings.”

Who do you want to be? Who do you admire, in both character and results?

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ON THE GRAM

Road trippin and tomb hunting in the northern Irish countryside with one of my life besties. It’s a satisfying thing to climb these hills and watch the clouds move… and explore the old tombs which are older than the pyramids. 

Here we go. 

#adventures #roadtrip #northernireland #sperrins #tombs #giantsgrave #satisfyinglife #trekking
What will you do when you’ve arrived?

One of the things business owners tend to focus on is getting the business to run without you.

Systems, team, leadership, pricing… you work so hard on each of these and it often takes longer than you expect.

Maybe you have a vague idea of what you’d do with all that free time once it appears, but I’d guess just as many of you aren’t 100% sure what that will look like.

Every day is so full you don’t have to time to pause. “I’ll spend more time with my family”, you tell yourself. More holidays, more of whatever fills you up.

It might be cooking or DIY or reading, but equally it might be writing a book. Coaching. Speaking. A second or third business of a new kind. 

Which means NOW is the time to start thinking about it.

That can feel overwhelming, if things aren’t “sorted” yet. You still have team issues, or the systems and tech are taking longer than expected to deliver results. You’ve lost some clients, or are struggling to get new ones.

The fact is, all those things may be indicators you’re closer than you realise.

These issues will get sorted – and the moment they do, you could hit a point where you have that spare time. You have a little more energy, or money, or space and freedom. For whatever. 

Now what?

What’s that “whatever”?

That’s when you start looking at your personal brand.

It’s different from your business brand. Instead of being focused on an audience, buying a service; instead of being something which summarises an entire business including clients and team, now you have the opportunity to consider what summarises YOU.

What you care about. The message you’d get out to the world if you could. The kind of people who think the way you do.

If this is even a *glimmer* of a thought in your mind, I’d love to hear from you. I’m working on a live workshop event in the UK, and I want to make sure we cover what would be the most helpful for you, right now.

Before everything is “sorted”.

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