The Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Steve Jobs’ Creative Paths

The use of modern technologies in our lives

Modern technologies have long become an integral part of our lives. The use of computers, mobile phones and, of course, the Internet for communication, work, entertainment has become indispensable and even ordinary. These technologies are associated with a lot of social, economic and political impact. However, most people are so carried away from these technologies so much that they cannot think about how they were invented. Using the case of Steve Jobs, the former CEO of Apple company, the paper will attempt to follow through his creative paths and highlight some of the lessons which the current entrepreneurs should borrow from Steve Jobs (Longenecker, 2010). 

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Steve Jobs (1955-2011), patriarch of the new computational age and prolific creator of gadgets, gave proof that a dream is only valid insofar as it is concretized in reality. His childhood was not a bed of roses. Job was adopted after his father separated with his mother . However, this did not take away Jobs ambition (Levy, 2011). His productive life was a rollercoaster of passions, crazy and dreams achieved,  was a disruptive of technology , which opted for innovation as the only vehicle for the development of their products. He thought so much about the user, that everything was created around his well-being; the user was the axis on which Jobs was inspired for all his creations (Guglielmo, 2012).

Steve Jobs did what many companies wanted, but in what they rarely managed to achieve success. The further he advanced, the easier his products became (Daft & Marcic 2017). At the forefront came not even the device itself, but the user. Their underlying creative ideas was to simplify what is already in the market. Steve Jobs did not invent any computer or phones but he engages in creative modification and simplification of the existing ideas by adding new features, applications and components. Jobs’s dubious ability for concentration was combined in it with the desire to simplify, concentrating on the essence of things and removing unnecessary.

Jobs got a taste for simple things when, having dropped out of university, worked at night in Atari. Jobs’ love for the simplicity of design was sharpened at the conferences of the Aspen Institute, in which he participated in the late 1970s. They passed on the campus, built in the style of the Bauhaus, with its clearly defined lines and functional design, without ornaments and excesses. Once Jobs visited the Xerox research center in Palo Alto, where he saw the design of a computer with a graphical user interface and a mouse. Then he had the idea to make the control more intuitive (Apple first gave the user the ability to drag and drop documents and folders on the virtual desktop). The Xerox mouse had three keys, and it cost $ 300. Jobs ordered a local industrial designer Dean Hovey a simple one-button model that would cost $ 15. Khovi managed to do it. Simplicity does not abolish complexity, but conquers it.

Steve Jobs and his productive life

Jobs wanted the machine to obey the user, and not frighten him. (Daft, Murphy & Willmott, 2010). He was striving for deep simplicity and found a soul mate in the person of Johnny Ive, the industrial designer of Apple (Wolf, 1996). Both understood that the matter was not just in the minimalist style and getting rid of the disorder. To remove the cogs, buttons or extra windows, you need to thoroughly understand the role of each element (Panzarino, 2012). Initially, there was a window where the user chose how to search – by the name of the song, album or artist. “Why do we need this?” – Jobs asked. The developers agreed that this menu is superfluous. “It often happened that we were sitting tensely above some problem place in the interface, and he suddenly said:” Did you think about that? “- says Tony Fadell, head of the iPod team. “And it all dawned on us:” Here’s the devil! “He differently formulated the task or approach, and the problem came to naught.” At some point, Jobs introduced the simplest proposal – to get rid of the on / off button (Fleisher & Bensoussan, 2015). At first, the developers were dumbfounded, but then realized that this button is not needed. In 2001, such were, for example, portable music players and online music trade (Mossberg, 2012). Apple revolutionized its iPod and iTunes store. On the queue were mobile phones. At the meetings, Jobs took someone’s phone and exclaimed that no one would figure out how to use half the functions here, including the address book (Carr, 2011). At the end of his career, he aimed at the sphere of television, arranged so that you cannot just press a button of some simple device and see what you want and when you want (Aquinas, 2008). Defining the industry or the category of products ready for a coup, Jobs always wondered which things are excessively complicated (Morschett, Schramm-Klein & Zentes, 2015).

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Jobs understood that the key to simplicity was the close integration of hardware, software and peripherals. The Apple ecosystem (for example, the iPod connected to the Mac via iTunes) has made the devices simple, the synchronization is smooth, and the failures are rare (Hitt, Hoskisson & Ireland, 2013). Complex tasks, say the creation of new playlists, could be performed on a computer, which reduced the number of functions and buttons on the iPod (Belcourt, Bohlander, Snell, Singh & Morris, 2016). Jobs and Apple have thought out for the user everything from beginning to end. From ARM microprocessor for iPhone to the event – the purchase of this phone in the brand store – everything was reconciled and interconnected. To this there are very few companies. Microsoft in the 1980s and Google in recent years have used the so-called open approach, that is, allowed to install their operating systems and programs on equipment from different manufacturers (Lee, 2012). Sometimes such a strategy showed itself as the best business model. But Jobs ardently believed that it was a road, speaking his language, to lousy products. “People are busy,” he said. “They have something to think about, except for the compatibility of computers and gadgets.” Jobs’s desire to control, as he said, “the whole complex” was in part a manifestation of his imperious nature, in part, perfectionism and the pursuit of beauty (O’Grady, 2009).  The Apple ecosystem can give you an equally sublime feeling, like walking around a garden of stones in Kyoto, which Jobs loved so much. Their creators, too, did not come to mind to collect ideas (or flowers) from wherever. The altar of openness cannot bring quality. Sometimes it’s nice to be in a rigid framework (Fiegerman, 2012).

Simplicity as the key to success

 The whole process of creating them was strictly focused on one goal – to make it intuitive and easy for the user. Each of us is striving for success, and when you realize that you have mastered something in some way, what feelings do you have in this? If consumers experience a sense of satisfaction with the use of the product, more people will buy it (Smith, 2012).

At the first exit seminar with the Macintosh team, one participant asked if it would be worthwhile to conduct some kind of marketing research to see what consumers want. “No,” Jobs replied, “because they do not know what they need until we show them.” Here he echoed the words of Henry Ford: “If I asked people what they want, they would ask for a faster horse.” Take care of the needs of customers is not something that all the time they have to ask about it. To guess their unfulfilled desires, a special flair is required. “Our task is to read what has not been written yet,” Jobs explained. Instead of relying on marketing research, he perfected empathy, learned to understand other people’s desires. His intuition, based on the wisdom of the accumulated experience, he really appreciated when, having dropped out of university, comprehended Buddhism in India. “The people of the Indian village do not rely, like us, on the mind – they rely on intuition,” Jobs noted. “Intuition is a very strong thing, I think it’s even stronger than intelligence.” (Ireland, 2008). Sometimes this meant that Jobs was investigating a focus group of one person – himself. He made the products that he and his friends needed. For example, by the early 2000’s there were a lot of players, but Jobs seemed that they were all good for nothing. Being a music lover, he wanted that he had a simple device that would allow carrying a thousand songs in his pocket. “We made the iPod for ourselves,” he said, “and when you do something for yourself, for a best friend or loved ones, you do not quit the business halfway.” even stronger than intelligence. ” Sometimes this meant that Jobs was investigating a focus group of one person – himself. He made the products that he and his friends needed. For example, by the early 2000’s there were a lot of players, but Jobs seemed that they were all good for nothing.

The importance of the user in product development

One of the things that distinguishes Apple from other companies, if you look inside the organization, is a passion for the product that is characteristic of Apple’s entire staff, from secretaries and engineers to board members. Steve Jobs, who personally hired several thousand employees, treated recruitment as the most important part of his work. And he always looked for like-minded people. You could even work without a diploma in Apple, but a single quality, without which you would not have been accepted into an apple company, is passion and worship of everything Apple does and wants to do. It is a sense of strength and desire to change the world, to influence consumers with the most high-quality and unique product. Steve even personally oversaw the opening of new Apple stores, despite their insignificant share and influence on the scale of the company, controlling every detail – right up to the tile laying in the store.

Steve could motivate every employee. He took care of his subordinates. He did not just know that he could not have achieved such great success without these people, he showed them that he knew about it. When one of the members of the Mac team deserved the award, Steve put a check in a white envelope, walked to the employee’s workplace and personally handed him a check. He once gave all the engineers of the Mac team medals just to show how he appreciates their work. Steve knew that if you set specific targets for your subordinates, they will do their best to get through them (programs for displaying information on the screen should be ready before the 15th, 75,000 units of the product must be made by the 24th …). The achievement of each of these lines became an occasion to pause and celebrate the event.

As far as I am concerned, Steve Job’s innovation and creativity lead to the development of products that have changed the social lives of many people. The lessons from Steve Job’s approach to creativity should be emulated by budding entrepreneurs. We can learn from Steve Jobs that creativity is not only about inventing new things, but also improving existing products and services.

Conclusion

Jobs is indeed a true reflection of creative minds. What is interesting about his work and invention is that he focused on one main thing- simplicity. He did not invent anything new but work at improving what had been invented. This means that anyone aspiring to create a new product should borrow from Jobs strategy. It is all about identifying a weakness in a product and proposing a solution. The lessons from Steve Jobs can be a motivation to those who are pessimistic. People need to spend their time looking for simple loopholes in existing products and services rather than straining to discover new inventions.

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