5 things I Learned From Steve Jobs

Jun 14, 2012

what I learned from Steve Jobs

Book Review Steve Jobs biography

After thoroughly enjoying reading the Steve Jobs biography I thought long and hard about what I learned and can apply to my business. Much of the book deals with Jobs’ peculiarities and very interesting character traits that will only work for Steve Jobs and really couldn’t be applied to anyone else. So what did I take away from the read? A lot but here are 5 things that can be instilled into any good business. 

Instinct and Vision

1. Use your instinct and vision not always relying on market research. Being innovative is often not popular at first. Jobs was notorious for making things his way. He had his criteria for his vision and did not lose focus on that criteria often fixated on the details.   

When asked about market research for the iPad, Jobs said:  "None. It’s not the consumers’ job to know what they want…we figure out what we want. And I think we’re pretty good at having the right discipline think through whether a lot of other people are going to want it, too.”


2. Steve Jobs showed us that very successful people can be emotional sometimes. It shows your team you care about what you doing and passion is contagious. We don’t have to go to the extreme that Jobs did with tantrums but it’s ok to be emotional. Your staff and team will appreciate it and positive passion is missing in most corporate culture. Laugh, argue, yell and praise.

Great People

3. Work with great people – Jobs would always try to form teams with A players and literally had no time for B and C players and could be very cruel and often vocal about this. Whenever he formed a team he would scour Apple, and even outside of Apple, for A players and use that as a hiring tactic to entice people he wanted. He continued to do this when he formed the NexT team. He understood that A players attract other A players and with a team stacked with A players then results are that much better. Work with great people and great things will develop. 


4. Not trying to be many things to many people allows your team to focus and become experts. Diluting your company or team with a lack of focus is often a big source of frustration internally which your customers will notice. Jobs once said: "People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good idea that there are. You have to pick carefully."


5. Being first isn't necessarily best--understanding timing is the essence of a breakthrough.

Apple was too early in the game and once the game began, they were too late. This was a lesson Steve Jobs learned the hard way. The Walkman came before the iPod, Microsoft's tablet arrived before the iPad, and the Blackberry arrived before the iPhone--though Apple's impeccable timing managed to beat them all.

And one more thing...

Do what you like. Simple and obvious lesson but if you don’t like what you are doing find a way to like it.

About the Author

Tony Tullio

Tony Tullio is a veteran in the interactive business and Director/Founder at Inorbital and always looking for great web apps and useful websites. Let us know what you think about this topic by commenting or rating or connect with him via Twitter and LinkedIn