Apple

Simplicity,  focus and relentlessness.

Creative visionaries abhor the day to day operational, administration stuff like supply chain logistics, product filfillment, customer support, inventory management, hardware manufacturing, channel sales and all those things. So they need someone else to do those things. The creative person comes up with new business ideas and needs someone else to organise those implementation things. There is no point the creative person doing those jobs that do not interest them, they need to search for the best person that is suited to that work and can do it instead.

Honesty and truthfulness wins the respect and confidence of fellow people.

Need to make incredibly great products.

People’s talents must define their jobs, not the job roles define the people.

Need designers with the artistic side of making technology beautiful.

Focus on details.

An effective operations ‘Mr Fix it’ person

▪ must blend in
▪not accept no as an answer and that will terrify people.
▪not get flustered
▪expect huge detail from staff
▪do everything on spreadsheets on which you study every line before meetings. For example in the meeting you ask staff, what is the variance in column D, row 514? What is root cause of it? People are reprimanded if they do not know the answer to a question like that.

Do not accept excuses.

Do not accept reasons why people have not immediately gone to solve a problem once it became, or becomes apparent to them.

Leaders provide a vision of where the company is going, good operations people just get it done.

The recruiter travels all over the world to design schools, looking for the best designers to hire for their small 20 person design team.

Design team has particular energy and special momentum from learning stuff as a small group.

Design team goes to people from different industries and crafts to learn things. They meet masters so they can really understand materials, techniques and understand why things are done a certain way, so not just copying things.

The reason they do not do a lot of stuff, is that it is time consuming and demanding to do it fully and properly. They are persistent in saying no to things for that reason.

Great designer are often rubbish at running a design business, as they just want to focus on the craft of design.

Great user interfaces on computers have a simple design.

Intuition and empathy are great ways to deeply understand things from other people.

The top executives are product orientated, which means focused on producing great products, as opposed to being ‘deal guys’ where they are focused on negotiating and doing deals with suppliers and the companies who sell their products.

Apple is a tough place to work, newcomers face long odds of being around for long.

The people at the top have been at Apple for many years such as, the shortest executive is 12 years.

Steve Jobs has no time for people who are not brilliant, when people in the business see that a person gets little attention from Steve Jobs, it means that they are seen by Steve Jobs as a ‘bozo’ and people in the company know that this person has achieved ‘bozo status’ with the founder.

Does not care if a board member attends very few meetings, he just cares if they are good or not.

The precise words Apple uses to communicate it’s message are repeated so many times that everyone, internally and externally, can repeat them by heart.

Messages are simple and clear.

The trick with selling breakthrough products is to explain them clearly. They could of said the 1000’s of functions and features the Iphone has.They just said:
▪Revolutionary phone
▪Internet in your pocket
▪The best Ipod ever created

They highlighted what makes Iphone stand out, but only giving consumers as much as needed to get excited.

These 3 points were repeated on every communication.

The best message is clear, consice and repeated.

Do not change it because you are bored of saying it, for the people listening it is their first time hearing it.

Consumers then use the same wording to describe the product to their friends.

Sell products with stories, need to be a great story teller. The stories go from the top of the company, down the ranks and the company gets behind it. Then they go right out to the public.

Tell the story in a way that is repectful, helpful, friendly and not pushy. It is not about price, it is about product.

Telling customers not what they want to buy, but what kind of people they want to be. Lifestyle advertising, selling an image associated with the brand, rather than the product itself. Their adverts show people they admire, not the products. Selling an exciting lifestyle.

Then once they have people’s attention, they explain in minute and gorgeous detail what the products can do.

Pay close attention to how customers use it’s products and what use them for.

Huge spending on branding, marketing films and so on is worth it, because for Apple nothing is more valuable than the brand. 9 times out of 10 typical customer will not consciously notice the distinctions, but sum total of Apple’s obsessions including it’s image will not be lost on customers who intuitively appreciate Apple is a cut above. Eg. London Symphony Orchestra for iMovie music trailer.

Marketing is the cover of a book, products are the inside pages.

Apple employees practice product launch presentations for months, leaving nothing to chance.

Steve Jobs rehearses presentation dozens of times, so each relaxed statement comes off just right.

Big sign in marketing department says SIMPLIFY SIMPLIFY SIMPLIFY with broad line drawn through first two SIMPLIFYS. This is to simplify products and how they deploy brand .

Products comes with Apple logo stickers, which people put on their on their paper notebooks, car bumpers, refrigerators and so on to display the brand.

Graphic design a stickler for detail and aesthetic integrity, for example coffee cup stain on poster must be actual coffee, not brown ink.

Only people who have spent lots of time in front of the press are allowed to speak to the press, these people must have learnt how to gracefully avoid answering unhelpful questions. The pr department ensures there are things people do not know. No one is allowed to speak to the press on behalf of Apple unless they are approved by the pr department, no matter how senior they are.

To ensure good public perception they go out of their way to win over top technology journalists who are influential, even including instantly going to their homes to repair and sort out any problems they may have with their Apple devices. Apple will take their side if they do not like a product and berate the people who created it for causing that. Apple’s un tarnished reputation is essential to them.

The everyday person needs products to be easy to use and not complex. Also must be technically superior and not bland.

The successful journalists are advocates for the average consumer and coming over like they are one too.

If Steve Jobs asks someone to do something, they will not have a good career with the company if they disappoint him.

Pleasing public figures by escalating their requests high up in the company and giving them top class service is essential image management.

Jobs insisted that staff do the impossible.

To promote products even ensured reporters for mainstream publications would would want to come to the showy events to reveal new products, not just the industry ones.

Need to envision world changing products even before they had been built.

The best organisations are intersects of art, science and business.

Steve jobs ‘organisations and people settle into ways of looking at the world and become satisfied with things. The world changes and keeps evolving and new potential arises, but people who are settled don’t see it. That is what gives start up companies their greatest advantage. The sedentary point of view is that of most large companies.

In addition to that, large companies do not usually have efficient communication paths from the people closest to some of these changes at the bottom of the company to the top of the company which are the people making the decisions…. Even in the case where part of the company does the right thing at the lower levels, usually the upper levels screw it up somehow.’

Start ups are normally more willing to try new things, change things and move into new areas.

I think that as long as humans don’t solve this human nature trait of sort of settling into a world view for a while, there will always be opportunity for young companies, young people to innovative, as it should be.

(I believe must not be satisfied with things for the needs and welfare of others, must not be selfish)

Need an easily repeatable marketing line, that perfectly captures the product’s capability. This may even be stuff that rival products can do at a lower price. eg. Ipod ‘a thousand songs in your pocket’. Also not about price, is about making customers want the product.

To ensure staff do great work and that you only keep on the best people, have high expectations.

Make it clear to rest of company when someone is a not brilliant. For example by not inviting them to the important meetings, or talking to them.

Build technology to change the world, not for technology’s sake.

Simplicity of design and attention to detail.

Hundreds of design iterations, mock ups and hours and hours and hours of talking even for just a close button on the side of a screen. Means cannot do a lot of things, but just have to do a few things really really well.

Base decisions on what best for product and so best for customer. Discourage employees from being distracted by pursuits that may help them, but not the company.

Products are at the core of everything they do.

Art, humanities, philosophy and so on are essential in product design and marketing.

Product design and marketing must create an emotional connection with consumers, it is an emotional issue.

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