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Friday, May 20, 2011

Listening to - " The Steve Jobs Way" - By Jay Elliot - Former Senior Vice President of Apple

I'm currently listening to the -" The Steve Jobs Way". It's really inspiring, interesting and lot of things to learn from it. The following are some interesting points I picked up from what I've listened to so far.

1. Steve is the -"Head artist of the apple".

2. Apple teams are termed as pirates.

3. Steve pushes the people to extremes to work hard and improve the performance.

4. He's the person of details. Ex: Though not from technical background, he used to understand every other detail of the mac design from semi-conductor chip to the casing.

5. Steve is the role model of everybody at the apple.

6. Steve envisions the products he designs and develops from end user or customer's perspective.

7. He goes to any extent to appreciate the work of his employees. Ex: Personally emailing apple retail store associate to appreciate him on his performance in handling the customer request, personally handing out hundred bills as token of appreciation to the workers on factory-floor, or personally giving bonus check to one of his engineers at his desk.

8. Steve is always energized and enthusiastic. Always in hyper mode to present products to people with a splash in his presentations.

9. He instilled design thinking into building the apple products. Thinking and designing them in a artistic way rather than creating computers as squared plastic or metal boxes and including software with better and intuitive User-interface. Things at apple got the current shape based on the Steve's creative customer-oriented thinking.

Oh! boy, lot to learn from him.
Some brain-storming videos of Steve Jobs at NEXT

From "Good to Great - By Jim Collins"

On my recent flight to India, I started re-listening (b'cos actually started this book long time back. But, didn't had time to make notes.) to "Good to Great-By Jim Collins" and made some short notes.
I found some interesting points to be noted, if I ever want to run a company or start a business.

1. Nepotism doesn't work if you want to build a great and successful company.

2. If you want to build a successful company you need to have guts to cut-off your own arm when it's effected by cancer. In the sense, guts to take unpopular decisions which are good for the company.

Ex: Walgreens sold their restaurant business, Kimberly-Clark's Darwin smith sold paper mills which are used to be their core businesses.

3. Luck also plays a wide role in building a great company.

4. Good is enemy of great.

5. You need to have guts to put yourself in the front-row to face any problem.

6. Qualities of top-most level-5 leaders:


  • Never boast about success.

  • Take full responsibility.

  • Charismatic.

  • Fanatically driven.

  • They'll have guts to take hard and unpopular decisions.

  • For them, company is the first priority

  • Never settle for less than great results.



7. what takes it to build great company:

  • Strong discipline and culture.

  • "First who and then what". Either on the bus or off the bus.

  • Sell off the problems but don't sell people.

  • Great vision without people is irrelevant.

  • Right people doesn't have to be motivate or managed.



Strong points to understand and remember. As per a punch line in the book, "If used right, technology can be accelerator of momentum in business, but not the creator of the momentum". Not sure if this still relevant to latest technology only companies like Facebook, Twitter, etc.

There are some key things worth noting from this :

1. Understanding the Hedge-hog concept which revolves around three circles : a. what you're deeply passionate about ? b. what you can be best in the world at ? what you cannot be best in the world at ? 3. what drives your economic engine ?

2. Building a good-to-great company or becoming good-to-great will be a cumulative process.  Cannot be a overnight success.