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Author Topic: What's the Ultimate How to Be Steve Jobs Guide?  (Read 3810 times)

Paul Keith

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What's the Ultimate How to Be Steve Jobs Guide?
« on: October 08, 2009, 09:36:09 PM »
After reading this link, the thought went to my head that I hate clicking on linkbaits on "How to Be Steve Jobs" but I just have to because it might be awesome.

That's why I give up and just decided to create a thread here in the hopes that whenever there's a worthwhile "How to Be Steve Jobs" article, maybe someone will post it here.

(Besides, I'm starting to think I should type less and just talk like everything's a sales pitch   :P :tellme:)

Btw the content of the article is:

Quote
By Carmine Gallo, Author of The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience

1. Create a “holy smokes” moment.

Every Steve Jobs presentation has one moment that leaves everyone in awe—the water cooler moment. These “moments” are scripted ahead of time to compliment his slides, the Apple Web site, press releases and advertisements. In 2008, Jobs pulled the MacBook Air out of a manila, inter-office envelope to show everyone just how thin it was. Bloggers went nuts and it was the most popular photograph of the event. On September 9, 2009, the “water cooler” moment wasn’t a product at all. Instead, it was Steve Jobs himself walking onstage after a long, health related absence. He told the audience he now had the liver of a mid twenties person who died in a car crash and was generous enough to donate their organs. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for such generosity,” he said.

2. Stick to the rule of three.

The Rule of Three is one of most powerful concepts in writing. The human mind can only retain three or four “chunks” of information and Jobs is well aware of this principle. A Steve Jobs presentation is typically divided into three parts. During the September 9th event, Jobs outlined the presentation into three areas: iPhone, iTunes and iPod. Jobs has even been known to have fun with the principle. At Macworld 2007, he introduced “three revolutionary products;” an mp3 player, a phone, and an internet communicator. After repeating the three products several times, he disclosed the big announcement—all three would be wrapped up in one, the iPhone. The rule of three turned into a water cooler moment. Ask yourself, what are the three things I want my audience to know? Not twenty things, just three. You can get away with more points in written form (like an article) but stick to three in public presentations and verbal conversations.

3. filler

4. be a douche

5. Think visually.

Apple presentations are strikingly simple and visual. For example, there is very little text on a Steve Jobs slide. While the average PowerPoint slide has 40 words, there were far fewer than forty words in the first dozen slides of the September music event. When Jobs talked about the popularity of iPhone around the world, his slide showed 23 flags of different countries instead of country names. When said the iPhone app store was celebrating its first anniversary, a slide appeared with a birthday cake holding one candle. When he talked about lower iPod prices, the new price was accompanied by photos of the iPods. This is what psychologists call “picture superiority.” It simply means that ideas are more easily recalled when presented in text and images than in text alone.

6. Create Twitter-friendly headlines.

Apple makes it simple for the media to talk about their products—the company writes the headlines for them. Now, reporters will tell you that they like to come up with their own headlines, but why then did hundreds of them use “World’s thinnest notebook” to describe the MacBook Air? Because that’s the way Steve Jobs described it, and frankly, it’s hard to come up with a better way of saying it. Jobs always describes a new product with a concise phrase that fits well within a 140 character Twitter post. What’s an iPod? “One thousand songs in your pocket.” What’s Genuis Mix for iTunes? “It’s like having a DJ mix the songs in your library.” If you can’t describe what you do in one sentence, go back to the drawing board.

7. Sell dreams, not products.

Steve Jobs is passionately committed to changing the world and his passion shows in every presentation. Anyone can learn the specific techniques he uses to create visually creative slides, but those slides will fall flat if delivered without passion and enthusiasm. When Jobs introduce the iPod in 2001, he said that music was a transformative experience and that in its own small way, Apple was changing the world. Where most observers saw a music player, Jobs saw an opportunity to create a better world for his customers. That’s the difference between Jobs and the vast majority of mediocre leaders—Jobs is genuinely committed to changing the world and he’s not afraid to say it.

 

40hz

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Re: What's the Ultimate How to Be Steve Jobs Guide?
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2009, 02:31:10 PM »
Based on my close observation of Steve Jobs and Apple over the years, I'd like to propose an additional factor:

Be the sort of person who is fortunate enough to be surrounded by very smart people who are willing to give you credit for their ideas and innovations; and who are also willing to 'hype up' your contributions, no matter how minor.

Look at these quotes from a Wharton School interview with Steve Wozniak as just one example:

Quote
Steve's role was to learn how to run every aspect of a company, to be an executive at every level. I had already come to a very non-political point in my life where I didn't want to run a company, because I didn't want to push other people around, act superior to others, tell them what they had [done] was lousy. So I just said: I will do my engineering as well as it can be done, and I'll do that perfectly. I won't tromp into other people's territory.

So we went into two parts of the company. And from then on, we were very much working on different things almost forever.

Steve did an excellent job of melding the marketing, operations and technology. He understood which technology was good and what people would like.

It was a weird situation. He couldn't design a computer -- he was never a designer or a programmer -- but he could understand it well enough to understand what was good and what was bad.

I think that was more important -- having one mind that could put the entire landscape together. Whereas I just did one piece excellently.

 :-\

Quote
When you judge Steve as a person -- the great things he brings to the world versus, maybe, these encroachments on personal decency or personal honesty with other people or disrespect of people when they've worked very hard and do a great job and he'll say, "Oh, that's just shitty," that sort of thing -- those are probably outweighed by the good that he does for the world.

We can sometimes see the future -- that, for example, all of our television signals are going to come over the Internet, all our entertainment and phone calls and music. Movie theaters even might go away some day because the Internet has taken their place.

How do you actually get there? It is so difficult to try to move the world to change, especially when there are money interests involved.

What Steve does on the good side -- like the music scenario [in which] we didn't bring just a music device called the iPod, we brought a whole music system: a store that sells it, a computer that manages and organizes it. And an iPod is just a satellite to your computer. Plug it in and it works. You don't have to do anything.

You've got to admire Steve for that kind of thinking.

Nobody's perfect. [Everybody is] going to have cases where they did something bad to somebody, said something nasty to them and maybe regret it later.

Link to full interview here: http://knowledge.wha...e.cfm?articleid=1903



Almost reminds me of the father of a friend of mine. He made absolutely horrible homebrew ice cream. This stuff was so bad it gave whole new meaning to the concept of badness. Everybody in his family knew it. And everybody DIDN'T know it. They loved him. So they just ate it when it was offered and heaped on the praise. Now that it's been some years since he quit this mortal clay, the memory (of that wretched, tasteless, godawful crap he used to heap in front of his suffering family and friends) has now been transformed into a dish fit for the gods themselves. The grandchildren (who never had the misfortune of tasting it) now talk about it with a tone of reverence, almost resentful they were born too late.

I think a lot of Steve's professional bio works like that. :P

« Last Edit: October 10, 2009, 02:35:29 PM by 40hz »

Paul Keith

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Re: What's the Ultimate How to Be Steve Jobs Guide?
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2009, 02:47:11 PM »
The sad and unfunny part is that it sounds like the general anecdote of any guy who got hired as a manager and got himself promoted faster than the people more suited for being promoted.  :(

Still; you have to be at least impressed by how this guy was able to understand enough without being a programmer and a designer and how he got back to Apple after being fired but the thing that still really impresses me and the thing I still don't quite understand is how he managed to maneuver through with the whole Pixar and Disney thing.

In fact, I don't quite understand what Jobs adds to Pixar but man... there has to be some huge amount of luck involved with getting all those circumstances or there is still some secret Jobs technique that is yet to be unearthed.




Lashiec

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Re: What's the Ultimate How to Be Steve Jobs Guide?
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2009, 06:09:53 PM »
Still; you have to be at least impressed by how this guy was able to understand enough without being a programmer and a designer and how he got back to Apple after being fired but the thing that still really impresses me and the thing I still don't quite understand is how he managed to maneuver through with the whole Pixar and Disney thing.

Disney needed Pixar. They make very successful movies, which also helps when selling merchandise based on them. The movies are also pretty good, but that wasn't the main concern at Disney, because Disney was pouring money. Pixar knew that, so they said, if you want us, the price is going to be a bit higher than you might think. And that's why Jobs managed to pull such deal.

How he managed to get back in Apple? The old Mac OS needed a radically new version, and it's was either BeOS or NeXT (Apple's own attempt, Copland, was turning into a joke). It was a matter of money, really, the BeOS guys wanted too much, although they ended paying up even more for NeXT.

I think Jobs success boils down to two points: Recruit good people, like 40hz says, and being a good speaker. While he never manages to trick me into buying Apple products, his keynotes are excellent, and his oratory skills really shine there.

Paul Keith

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Re: What's the Ultimate How to Be Steve Jobs Guide?
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2009, 08:51:31 PM »
@Lashiec,

True but how many guys, even skilled speakers, get fired and get back in?

It's not like Jobs was the only choice.

However, he has some influence and past successes with Apple. That's true.

With Pixar though, Jobs had to at least had the foresight and the people to realize how big Pixar would eventually be...or he got extremely lucky.

This wasn't a company that was starting from scratch nor was Pixar some software/hardware where you get the product and then market it away.

Any marketing effect goes away after every movie, every trailer, every little new series and Hollywood was full of flashy marketing competitors compared to the tech industry that by the time Disney needed Pixar, Pixar has took over as the new Disney for this generation.

That is a huge huge successful leap for a guy who basically isn't a designer or a programmer to one day be able to foresee the company he's buying as THE company that would take over Disney's brand as the premier go to Hollywood kid's movie maker of this generation.

It's one way to recruit good tech people (especially when he had Wozniak already) and serve as the gap that make these tech products sell but to recruit good tech people and basically redefine the industry standards of movies... I mean that's something else.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2009, 08:56:06 PM by Paul Keith »

Lashiec

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Re: What's the Ultimate How to Be Steve Jobs Guide?
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2009, 10:08:54 AM »
True but how many guys, even skilled speakers, get fired and get back in?

More people than it should, actually. And most of them are not even decent speakers.

Quote
It's not like Jobs was the only choice.

As I said, there were only three choices. NeXT was a good product, why it was chosen was a matter of luck.

Quote
With Pixar though, Jobs had to at least had the foresight and the people to realize how big Pixar would eventually be...or he got extremely lucky.

Actually, it was luck. Pixar is a company with a certainly interesting history, starting with who founded it, and how much Jobs paid for it. Jobs didn't have any foresight, the work that Pixar did at the time was starting to become standard in all movies, the CG movies were simply the result of Pixar employees toying with the tools they had at their disposition. Jobs was lucky here because Pixar had John Lasseter and several other talented guys as employees. If it wasn't for them, Pixar would never have been saved, nor it would become what it is today. Personally, I doubt Jobs has any real input in how things at Pixar should be done, except maybe if they're related to real business. He has many things to attend to, starting with Apple, which probably takes most of his time.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2009, 10:12:26 AM by Lashiec »

Paul Keith

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Re: What's the Ultimate How to Be Steve Jobs Guide?
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2009, 11:23:45 AM »
Thanks for expanding Lashiec.

These were definitely things I didn't know of.

In particular, I didn't know it was easy to get re-hired back. Care to expand how that often works?

One other question, what was Jobs motivation for buying Pixar? As you said, the technology was becoming standard so why this particular company?

40hz

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Re: What's the Ultimate How to Be Steve Jobs Guide?
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2009, 03:23:39 PM »
One other question, what was Jobs motivation for buying Pixar? As you said, the technology was becoming standard so why this particular company?

Because Pixar was hot; getting a lot of industry buzz; and Jobs had nothing going for him after the Next Computer debacle.

One more example of Steve's "formula for success"...hitch a ride on somebody else's star.

That approach gives you the best of both worlds. If it works out (like Pixar), you claim credit for having THE VISION!!!

And if it bombs (as was the case with Next Computer), you just blame the designers, the engineers, the programmers, the press - and everybody else - while ignoring the fact that your arrogant and bizarre marketing program*, coupled with your surly attitude, was mostly to blame for its demise.

_____

*No joke. My company tried to buy a Next machine in 1990.

We had seen an ad (I think it was in the WSJ), did some in-depth research, and decided this was something we needed to get in on the ground floor of.

There were only something like three places within 200 miles of us that carried them, but fortunately for us, one of them was local.

We showed up at the closest (BusinessLand) with check in hand only to learn you couldn't just go in and buy one of these boxes - you had to "talk to their Next specialist first." A more correct phrase would have been "be interviewed."

This designated Next Computer Sales Associate chatted a bit, blandly accepted our praise for the product, and then asked us what we intended to use our Next machine for. At the time, we were heavily into Macintosh/Adobe/Quark (sales, support, service and consulting) so we figured it was a natural for our business. We told him mostly R&D for graphic applications and electronic publishing along with possible use as a development platform for applications programming.

Apparently, that wasn't a correct answer. Because we were then told there were "only a limited number of Next machines available." And furthermore, that our company didn't "fit the profile of the organizations Next is trying to attract to this product." After that, we were basically bid "good day."

I might have thought it was just a fluke with that particular store until we ran into almost the exact same treatment at another. Like the first, they weren't the slightest bit interested in selling us a Next machine. The only real difference between the two stores came when my partner Bill casually remarked how "Mac-like" he thought the interface was. In response, we got hit with a half-shouted tirade from a salesman who told us (at length) how he was "sick and tired of people comparing Next to Macintosh." We walked out without being asked after about five minutes of listening to this guy.

Later on, we found out they were primarily interested in selling Next to universities, colleges, federal agencies and big name corporations - along with an occasional celebrity or two. Ordinary businesses and people need not apply. So as you can see, Steve Jobs' fondness for Snob Affinity Marketing was rearing its ugly head as early as 1990.

 8)



« Last Edit: October 13, 2009, 03:32:10 PM by 40hz »

Paul Keith

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Re: What's the Ultimate How to Be Steve Jobs Guide?
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2009, 03:50:15 PM »
Thanks 40hz. I didn't realize Pixar was hot then.

The interesting bit about your NEXT story is that I couldn't see what the logic of the marketing was. That is really bizarre.

40hz

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Re: What's the Ultimate How to Be Steve Jobs Guide?
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2009, 06:10:26 PM »
Thanks 40hz. I didn't realize Pixar was hot then.

Well, they were pretty much already in bed (as an independent group) with George Lucas and ILM as early as 1984 even if they weren't called Pixar at that point. If I remember correctly, some of the key people had even been with Lucas & Co. as far back as 1979 or 1980.

So I guess Steve Jobs' only measurable 'contribution' was giving these guys the name Pixar.

Hmmmm...sound familiar? I think I see a pattern emerging...

Quote
The interesting bit about your NEXT story is that I couldn't see what the logic of the marketing was. That is really bizarre.

It was even crazier at first. His original plan was to restrict Next sales to colleges and other higher education institutions. The first year it was out, those were the only people who could actually buy one. Go figure. It was supposedly only put into retail channels over Mssr. Jobs most strenuous objections.

Apparently the investors won that argument.

FWIW I never understood the rationale either. But either way, Next was pretty much a dead issue about 18 months later. There were a few attempts to keep it going, but it eventually faded into the mists  - just like the Lisa, the twiggy drive, and all those other things Steve was so hot on.

Too bad. The NextStep interface and architecture were way ahead of their time. We'd probably be a lot farther along today if Next caught on when it had its chance.




« Last Edit: October 13, 2009, 06:18:03 PM by 40hz »