When Steve Jobs died last week, just about everyone in the tech community paused. Most sat dumbfounded for a few minutes. Even those who didn’t know him or even use his products had to wait a few moments for it to sink in. One of the greatest people in technology was gone.
An outpouring of tribute, remembrances, and honorariums then began as people worked to deal with the idea that Jobs was no longer here. I didn’t know him personally, but just about every electronic thing I have on my desk, from iPad to iPhone to notebook, have the Apple logo on them.
One person who knew him well, Guy Kawasaki, listed the twelve things he learned from Steve Jobs. The following are the things I learned from Steve Jobs, even though I never knew him personally:
- People are what matters, not machines. The gadget is a machine, but it will be used by people. So make it usable. Functionality is only one component of the trifecta. It must also be useable and nice to look at. Otherwise, people will not flock to it.
- Design to perfection, but don’t get so locked up in that tweaking that you fail to launch the product when you said you would. Set a date, a deadline, then meet that deadline come hell or high water.
- Doing what everyone else is doing, only better, puts you ahead for the short-term, but doing what no one else is doing makes you the leader automatically. Why compete when you can create?
These are the three things I learned from the Steve Jobs Distance Learning Academy.