Needed: Passion and Conviction

by Trudy on August 30, 2013

I went to see the film Jobs on the weekend. Like many, I am fascinated by the story of Apple from innovation and marketing perspectives.

(FYI I was an early business Mac user, and my first purchased home computer was a Mac, but I lost my way for a time and became a PC person, but have since returned wholeheartedly. Our family has gone from 0 Apple products to at least 11 Apple products in 3 years! And PROVOKE is 100% Mac based.)

The film, and coincidentally a documentary I happened upon the following morning, were reminders of a couple of points for all business leaders:

Steve Jobs’ brilliance came from two primary perspectives.

Passion for the user – he approached innovation from a perspective of what will improve the customer’s life. “A person needs to be able to play a song in no more than three steps.” was the brief for the iPod. Product development backwards from what would be user friendly for the customer. The product needs to fit the customer, not the customer fit the product. Many businesses forget this occasionally (frequently?). Steve Jobs got it early on and stayed compulsively committed to this perspective. We all can benefit from a dose of this kind of compulsiveness in our businesses.

Conviction – this is a person who met obstacle after obstacle, as pretty much any innovator/disruptor/visionary experiences when they are trying to change the rules. Yet he continued to push his vision and maintained his passion. He endured set backs that would have been enough to have stopped many of us, no matter how much we believed in something. He kept the faith, even when he was fired from his own company. He simply found other outlets to manifest his life’s work. It made me think about a key concept of cultural change, that when things get ugliest and most uncomfortable it is precisely the time to not give up, as that is the surest sign of the seas changing.

Two good points to keep in mind when we are having a tough day doing the right thing for the customer.

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