Steve Jobs, the genius behind making Apple the most valuable company in the world, has attempted to change the world and succeeded. He is not amongst us anymore but his legacy and aura still live on. His creative mind has given us innovative gadgets like iPods, iPads, iPhones, Macs and Macbooks.
Most young entrepreneurs consider him as a source of inspiration. Here are few lessons they can learn from the greatest genius of our time and take their startup to the next level.
1. Stay Focused
From a small garage to becoming the world most valuable company, Apple Inc. has come a long way. It is due to the unflinching determination and laser focus of its founder, Steve Jobs. He was clear about what he wanted to achieve and stay focused throughout the journey. Sharing his secrets of success, he said, “That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity.”
2. Learn, Learn, Learn
Steve Jobs proved that you do not need college degrees to make your business successful. Instead, he recommends a holistic approach to learning. Be a life-long learner and learn from any source you can come across. Rather than trying to learn everything about everything, you should focus your efforts on a specific subject and become an expert in that domain.
3. Seek Expert Advice
Even a visionary, like Steve Jobs, looks towards experts and opinion leaders for inspiration, wisdom and sound advice on how to improve. Young entrepreneurs should also follow in the footstep of the Apple’s founder and seek expert advice. Before they do that, it is important to identify areas that need improvement, and then seek expert advice on how to make things better.
4. Look Into the Crystal Ball
What gives Apple an edge over its competitors was Steve’s ability to be proactive and predict the future. His clairvoyance enabled him to predict what the future is going to be like and how technology is going to affect our lives. And this visionary outlook gave all Apple products a clear advantage over their competitors when it comes to innovation.
Young entrepreneurs can easily get a competitive advantage over their competitors if they’re able to predict what sort of future problems are going to arise and exactly which ones your business can solve in the momst cost effective manner. Getting a sneak peek into the future will also help you in dealing with issues that might come in your way. Steve Jobs quoted Wayne Gretzky when he said, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”
5. Quality Over Quantity
Although most large organizations and startups focus on sales numbers (quantity) but Steve Jobs has a different take on things. He urges young entrepreneurs to go for quality rather than quantity. His words also reflect his approach when he said, “Quality is much better than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.”
Give attention to detail, aim for perfection and deliver a quality product to your customers. Steve Jobs sums it up brilliantly when he said. “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” When you manage to achieve this feat, sales numbers will increase automatically.
6. Consider Failure as a Learning Opportunity
When Steve Jobs was invited to speak at Stanford University on commencement in 2005, he shared his story, “I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”
Instead of fearing failure, you should consider it as a learning opportunity as Steve Jobs did all his life and set an example for young entrepreneurs to follow. Identify the reasons for your failure with the help of project management software and a good mentor fix the issues. If you use failure as a source of motivation to improve upon your weaknesses, then success will come your way.
7. Take Risks
None of us might have developed an iPhone, if I was in Steve Jobs’ shoes, especially, when it would left a dent on the sales of iPod. But Steve Jobs worked on it and succeeded in making Apple a pioneer in the smartphone market. That is what makes him stand out from the crowd. As a budding entrepreneur who wants to achieve ambitious goals, you should always be prepared to take risks but should be calculated risks. Take your time, think about both the pros and cons, and then make a decision.
8. Your Time Is Limited
Steve Jobs give aspiring young entrepreneurs a formula for overcoming fear and embarrassment of failure when he said, “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”
Life is short and your time is limited so make it count instead of wasting it by pretending to be someone else. That is the message Steve Jobs gave to the world when he said, “Your time is limited; don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Do not be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Do not let the noise of other opinions drown your own inner voice. Most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Taking a page out of Jobs playbook will surely go a long way in uplifting your startup to new heights. Do not be bothered by initial setbacks and learn from your mistakes. Be proactive when doing market research and see how future consumer needs are gonna change and what kind of products will be required to fulfill those needs. If you can get do this accurately then you’ll definitely have an upper hand over your competitors.
Take calculated risks to help your startup take giant leaps towards business success. Lastly, treat every day, as if it is your last because this will make your fearless. I will conclude this article with the famous advice Steve Jobs gave to Stanford students on their commencement in 2005 “Stay foolish, stay hungry”.