The Eagle Blog

Steve Jobs on Success

In October 2006 I wrote a blog entry about Steve Jobs speech to Stanford graduates. It was a classic speech …. interesting, informative, from the heart and great advice.

Today I came across an article based upon the book Steve Jobs: The Journey is the Reward by Jeffrey S. Young. The article was written by Bob Hill and published in the eletter distributed by Business Briefs. Phew … I hope I have given everyone credit here that needs credit … but at the end of the day these are words of wisdom are from Steve Jobs, and worth repeating.

Steve Jobs 12 Rules of Success …

1. Do what you love to do. Find your true passion. Make a difference. The only way to do great work is to love what you do.

2. Be different. Think different. Better to be a pirate than to join the navy. (damn … I joined the Navy!)

3. Do your best at every job. Don’t sleep! Success generates more success so be hungry for it. Hire good people with a passion for excellence.

4. Perform SWOT analysis. As soon as you join/start a company, make a list of strengths and weaknesses of yourself and your company on a piece of paper. Don’t hesitate to throw bad apples out of the company.

5. Be entrepreneurial. Look for the next big thing. Find a set of ideas that need to be acted upon quickly and decisively and jump through that window. Sometimes the first step is the hardest one. Just take it. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

6. Start small, think big. Don’t worry about too many things at once. Take a handful of simple things to begin with, and then progress to more complex ones. Think about not just tomorrow, but the future. Put a ding in the universe.

7. Strive to become a market leader. Own and control the primary technology in everything you do. If there’s a better technology available, use it regardless of whether or not anyone else is using it. Be the first, and make it an industry standard.

8. People judge you by your performance, so focus on the outcome. Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected. Advertise. If they don’t know about it, they won’t buy your product. Pay attention to design. We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them. Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

9. Ask for feedback from people with diverse backgrounds. Each one will tell you one useful thing. If you’re at the top of the chain, sometimes people won’t give you honest feedback because they’re afraid. In this case, disguise yourself, or get feedback from other sources. Focus on those who will use your product – listen to your customers first.

10. Innovate. Innovation distinguishes a leader from a follower. Delegate. Let other top executives do 50% of your routine work to be able to spend 50% your time on the new stuff. Say no to 1,000 things to make sure you don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much. Concentrate on really important creations and radical innovation. Hire people who want to make the best things in the world. You need a very product-oriented culture, even in a technology company. Lots of companies have tons of great engineers and smart people. But ultimately, there needs to be some gravitational force that pulls it all together.

11. Learn from failures. Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.

12. Learn continually. There’s always “one more thing” to learn.Cross-pollinate ideas with others both within and outside your company. Learn from customers, competitors and partners. If you partner with someone whom you don’t like, learn to like them – praise them and benefit from them. Learn to criticize your enemies openly, but honestly.

It is hard to argue with success and Steve Jobs has enjoyed plenty … perhaps you can find some nuggets here to help you on your journey.


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5 thoughts on “Steve Jobs on Success

  1. Interesting. Seems to be at odds with the trend towards organizational 'maturity'.

    As I see it, in a 'mature' organization people are rewarded for following defined processes in order to achieve repeatable results.

    I don't think that Mr. Jobs would approve.

  2. Interesting. Seems to be at odds with the trend towards organizational 'maturity'.

    As I see it, in a 'mature' organization people are rewarded for following defined processes in order to achieve repeatable results.

    I don't think that Mr. Jobs would approve.

  3. These "rules" for success were taken from Job's book, so I assume he approves.

    I'm with you in that I might not agree with everything he says … but then I am also not as successful as Steve Jobs!

    Its all food for thought!

  4. These "rules" for success were taken from Job's book, so I assume he approves.

    I'm with you in that I might not agree with everything he says … but then I am also not as successful as Steve Jobs!

    Its all food for thought!

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