Lessons Learned From Steve Jobs

October 23, 2013 | Valerie Wong

Steve Jobs was definitely a pioneer in the business world. His accomplishments are widely known. After all, we are talking about a man who took a company that seemed to be heading straight into bankruptcy and turned it around so that it became one of the most well-known consumer brands in the world. If you met Jobs when he was young, you probably wouldn't think that he would one day be at the head of one of the largest and most successful companies in the world. He had no degree or certifications in the technology field. He had zero business management experience. But he still managed to propel his company to success.

While Apple is a technology company, the lessons one can learn from Steve Jobs can be applied to a business in any industry, anywhere in the world. Here are a couple of things any entrepreneur would have an interest in learning from this visionary leader:

Find Good Partners

Even though Jobs had a lot of creativity and seemed to have a great sense of genius, Apple wouldn't have become the company that it is today if Jobs had stayed holed up in his garage producing computers without interacting with other human beings.

Jobs realized that no matter what skills and talents he had, there are other people that he would be able to learn from. Regis McKenna, one of the leading marketers in the tech field was one of Jobs' early tutors. He helped Jobs with the marketing principles that Apple still adheres to after over two decades.

The bottom line is; the people that you associate yourself with can give you tremendous help when starting a business. But be careful, the opposite is also true. Those with negative attitudes, individuals who simply want to ride on the coat-tails of your success, or those who are just hopelessly incompetent can sink your business just as fast. 

Create a Great Product, Not Just Great Marketing Materials

Consumers are often disillusioned with many products on the market today. They see them as ordinary things that are simply overhyped, given “cool” looking packaging and sold as the solution to all of their problems.

Now, it is possible to take low-quality products that are no different than anything else on the market, hype them up and sell them at ridiculous margins. Think of the products sold during late night infomercials, such as the “super skin care creams” which are nothing more than repackaged versions of products on sale at the local pharmacy, sold at ten times the price. You could make some money doing that, but it will be very hard to actually build a successful brand that enjoys a worldwide reputation for quality.

Build Very Strong Brand Loyalty

You've certainly seen the crowds of people lining up outside the Apple Store when a new version of the iPhone comes out. Ask yourself this: why are these people here? The majority of them aren't waiting in line because they “need a phone.” They probably already have an iPhone that is still working great. What they are doing is more than just buying a new phone. Rather, they are showing support for “Team Apple,” just like sports fans would do to their team. They believe in the brand and they believe that it is something truly great, something worth supporting. While it may take a lot of perseverance to create a brand loyalty and “team” feeling among your customers, the results will definitely be worth it.

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