The impact Steve Jobs had on Apple was immeasurable. He built the company from the ground up. Every product Apple has put out has been because of Steve Jobs. His knack for knowing what desires consumers want in a product is just one aspect of what Steve Jobs did to help Apple become one of the top consumer electronic companies in the world.
Steve Jobs was a smart man and CEO. As the head of the Apple company, Jobs surrounded himself with smart men. This not only helped his company, but it helped Jobs when it came time to make big decisions regarding a project. After a project was initiated, engineers and designers had to work together on the project. Because Jobs believed that Apple’s greatest advantage was its integration of the project, from design to hardware to software to content, he wanted all departments at the company to work together in parallel. Jobs used the phrases of “deep collaboration” and “concurrent engineering” to describe this process.
To make this “collaboration” happen, Jobs relied heavily on the hiring process. He would have candidates meet the top leaders of Apple. This included guys such as Cook, Tevanian, Schiller, Rubinstein, and Ive. After the interview, he would meet with his leaders without the candidate and decide whether the person would fit in at Apple. Jobs goal with all of this was to prevent what he called “the bozo explosion.” Jobs explained that “the bozo explosion” is when a company becomes loaded down with second-rate talent. Jobs’ hiring process took the candidate not only to the area they would be working in, but through other departments and had the candidates talk to them to see how they would fit in.
From the start of the company, Jobs understood the needs and desires of his customers. He put products out there that the consumer wanted and his main desire was to get the product right. According to the Apple Marketing Philosophy, there were three points that were stressed. The first was empathy. This was meant to have an intimate connection with their customers. Apple will “truly understand the customer’s needs better than any other company. The second was focus. This meant that Apple would “eliminate all the unimportant opportunities.” The final point was impute. This meant that no matter how great the quality of the product, if it were presented in a sloppy manner, it will be perceived as sloppy. This most noticeably, was recognized with Apple’s packaging. When you opened the product and noticed the details of the packaging that would set the tone for the product.
Jobs had a knack for bringing new products to the market that the consumers wanted to buy. He was also a perfectionist. One of Jobs’ talents was that he could look at a certain market filled with second-rate products and take advantage of it by perfecting it. He did this by simplifying the process, software, or the design of the product. For example, when designing iTunes, Jobs looked at what was available to the consumer at that point and came to the conclusion that they were so complicated to the user that only a genius could figure out half of their features.
A fundamental part of perfecting products was minimalizing them. Jobs was a minimalist. In order to make products user friendly, Jobs knew that the consumer had to understand how to use them and like using them. Make it simple. According to Jobs, “Simplicity isn’t just a visual style; it’s not just minimalism or the absence of clutter. It involves digging through the depth of the complexity. To be truly simple, you have to go really deep. You have to deeply understand the essence of a product in order to be able to get rid of the parts that are not essential.”
Jobs used this minimalistic style in not only in the technology products he produced, but in the Apple stores he designed. Larry Ellison’s company, Oracle, was developing software for the checkout systems, a system that avoided having a register. According to Ellison, “if you looked at the stores and the products, you will see Jobs’ obsession with beauty as simplicity-this aesthetic and wonderful minimalism, which goes all the way to the checkout process in the stores.”