But that’s not why he’s on my short list of business idols.
It’s because he committed himself early to one simple, emotionally enticing principle: to make technology easy.
Relentless dedication to one powerful idea.
He got personal branding right. He focused not on himself, but on his idea. He is constantly shaping his vision into experiences and products for his customers and the Apple team.
To wit (from the man himself):
1985: “The most compelling reason for most people to buy a computer for the home will be to link it to a nationwide communications network. We’re just in the beginning stages of what will be a truly remarkable breakthrough for most people––as remarkable as the telephone.”
1996: “Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.”
1998: “That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
2000: “We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them.”
2004: “And it comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much. We’re always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.”
2007: “Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything. … One is very fortunate if you get to work on just one of these in your career. Apple’s been very fortunate it’s been able to introduce a few of these into the world.”
Want to channel Steve? Boil down your vision to one exquisitely simple idea that excites you and engages your best audience. And stick with it. No matter what.