Lessons from Steve Jobs

by Ian Rosenwach on 8.24.2011

Steve Jobs means a lot of things to a lot of people.  I thought I’d write down a few themes which I think he personifies. There’s a lot to say and plenty of people saying it!

Here’s my .02 –

  1. Inspiring Leadership Scales – Steve gives Apple a soul.  I’ve visited the Apple campus and experienced the environment.  I think as a culture, America and perhaps the rest of the world tends to think that leaders can accomplish more then they actually can.  Steve is all about the individual.  He’s said this several times and it’s a core Apple brand value. The way to scale a culture is to empower individuals.  The way to empower individuals is to inspire them to achieve.
  2. A people-focused approach to technology – Steve is a master of shaping technology to meet the desires of the masses – it’s about people.  He understands that people don’t want to deal with complexity; technology can be intimidating.  I’m sure Steve loves technology as much as anybody, but he understands that the will of the masses must win at the end. To me this is a theme of his career – from the Mac to the iPod, his inspiration is to simplify technology to deliver great experiences to the masses.
  3. Compassionate design – His approach is based on compassion (not surprising given his Buddhist bent!).  He doesn’t want people to have to deal with the complexity of technology.  He wants to simplify this to the point where they don’t have to stress about it – in a word that’s compassion.

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