I have never once owned an Apple product. Never was I ever an Apple fan.
But I was and will be, always and forever, a Steve Jobs fan.
The world needs more people like Steve Jobs. Known to be tough, he sought out to change the world.
He did just that.
Steve Jobs: The Best of Businessmen
It’s hard not to respect a man of his caliber. One has to think that it couldn’t have been all that long ago that Steve Jobs was made aware he’d have only a few months left to live.
So what did he do?
He went to work. It really takes a special someone to, in the face of death, dedicate time to a company he founded. I don’t think there’s another person in the world who would spend the last of his or her days at work. When was “work” ever on your bucket list?
And that’s just the magic of Steve Jobs. He lived for Apple. He lived for tech.
In what has to be one of the best displays of Jobs’ perfectionist attitude, he called up Vic Gundotra, head of a Google development team on a Sunday morning. He had something urgent to discuss.
The conversation from Jobs’ end went a little like this:
“So Vic, we have an urgent issue, one that I need addressed right away. I’ve already assigned someone from my team to help you, and I hope you can fix this tomorrow” said Steve.
“I’ve been looking at the Google logo on the iPhone and I’m not happy with the icon. The second O in Google doesn’t have the right yellow gradient. It’s just wrong and I’m going to have Greg fix it tomorrow. Is that okay with you?”
The CEO of one of the largest companies in the world was unhappy with a few pixels in a single app that was installed on only a few of his company’s products. It wasn’t even his company’s app. It was, arguably, an app of a competitor. But he owned it as if it were his; the slightest details were, to Jobs, just as important as the big picture.
The conversation, which I encourage you to read, can be found in full here. It was written by Vic Gundotra, the Google exec who took the call.
Jobs’ Drive and Genius
In 1983, when Apple was a mere infant in Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs went after John Sculley, then the President of PepsiCo to be a VP at Apple. In a famous quote, Jobs asked Sculley if he preferred to “Sell sugar water for the rest of your life or come with me and change the world?”
Sculley joined Apple, setting in motion a technology revolution. In his first few months with Jobs, Sculley would lay the groundwork that became the driving force of the Apple business model. Sculley favored driving margins to boost marketing spend, pushing the price of the Lisa from $1,995 to $2,495.
As time went on, Apple languished after Jobs’ first departure. Later, Jobs of course rejoined Apple and set in motion probably one of the best corporate recoveries in all of history. Jobs later sculpted a marketing machine of Sculley’s early decisions.
Nothing shows the marketing genius of Steve Jobs like this 7 minute video. If you do nothing else today, watch this video. In 7 minutes, you might as well be able to put a marketing MBA on your resume.