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Apple, Inc. has recently become the company with the world's largest market capitalization and value. One of its founders and masterminds was Steve Jobs – an extraordinary personality, who had a unique talent to influence people. The most interesting thing about Apple has nothing to do with formal PR, but, sometimes, interesting information slips intentionally or unintentionally into the world of media. Steve Jobs was sometimes called “a reality distortion field”, meaning that he was able to persuade his subordinates and colleagues, as well as his friends, to do impossible things, things in which they could not believe and, at times, even imagine (Caddes 26). Thus, if Apple workers collectively believed that they could accomplish their task only in a month, Jobs that they could and had to do it in two weeks. Eventually, in spite of their convictions and under the influence of Jobs’ persuasion, they really did manage to do it. This is where the success of Apple, as well as the most important personality trait of Steve Jobs, lies. In fact, these two aspects – personal traits and the Apple Company – led to the emergence of revolutionary products and a new business philosophy: Steve Jobs was a person who proved to be a shining example of good will and determination in the pursuit of his goals.
Did you know that, even minutes before presenting a new product on a big conference, this product was still being finalized and refined to an outcome that would please Jobs? Sometimes, a product presented on a conference would have been changed dramatically, compared to the one presented a week earlier. Those changes were implemented for iMac, iPod, and many other well-known products (Caddes 26).
Steve Jobs was a powerful leader who used to wear simple clothes but had a brilliant mind. “I do not care how I look like”, - Steve Jobs told his friends (Denning & Frenkel 436). That is why his usual appearance was blue jeans, Levi's 501, a turtleneck St. Croix with long sleeves, and a pair of New Balance 991 sneakers. In fact, Steve was always dressed in the same way, though, sometimes, he was seen wearing shorts and sandals. This change is in stark contrast to the days, when Steve was wearing the most expensive Brioni suits. As his power was growing, Jobs was becoming simpler. He opted to dedicate his mind to his business, instead of appearance. He did not care about the paradox of a multibillionaire, dressed in worn jeans. He taught a good rational lesson – one can save hours in the morning, if one does not think of what to wear.
Many people wonder how such a seemingly ordinary person in blue jeans has managed to conquer the world. Once, in a speech after the launch of iPad, Steve Jobs spoke about the secret of Apple’s success:
“It is not enough to pay attention only to technology. There is a need to look for something at the intersection of technology, free art and human nature; only an alliance yields results which make our hearts sing. This is especially important in the age of devices which launch the replacement of personal computers. These devices should be more simple and straightforward than a PC, the hardware and software environment should be more closely linked. I think that we are on the right track in this regard.” (Denning & Frenkel 433)
Independent analyst Horace Dediu said that Steve Jobs' contribution to the development of Apple products was obvious and widely recognized. What can people say about his contribution to the development of the company? Has Apple created “a proper organizational structure” capable of producing breakthrough products? Today, it is time to check the strength and appropriateness of his principles and organization. If the company has managed to become truly “Jobs-ish”, then it is really a great achievement. John Gruber is convinced of this: “The greatest creation of Jobs is not some products of Apple, but the company itself” (Denning & Frenkel 434).
Surely, Jobs went far beyond business: he has created a remarkable process, not just a product. Still, he is not alone in his achievements. Many other companies and their founders have caused long-term impacts on the culture long after their departure, for instance, Disney, and Ford. However, a leader should strive for more and work to contribute to the development of not only his/her company but also other companies. Isn’t changing the fate of the civilization more important than changing the lives of a few people? People believe that Steve Jobs really wanted to do that. He called it “to make a splash in the Universe” (Denning & Frenkel 433). In other words, he wanted to manufacture products that “would change everything” (Denning & Frenkel 433). However, given that the main achievement of Steve Jobs has been the creation of the Apple Corporation, then how has Apple, Inc. changed the world?
According to Jobs, the lesson that the world must learn from the Apple Corporation is that companies need to become multi-dimensional. They should combine the main business and breakthrough innovation with the art of intelligence, followed by a grain of truth and a bit of madness. Apple's runaway success should serve as a powerful guide for others. Instead of copying the products of other companies, people should adopt Apple’s processes and the company’s way of thinking. They should adopt methods that have allowed Apple to develop creative and technological processes.
Apple, Inc. teaches a precious lesson to everyone. Back in 1984, Steve Jobs was pushed out of his own company. Twelve years later, the company was on the verge of bankruptcy. The company owners did not know what to do and where to go. Steve Jobs was asked to come back. Since 2000, company sales have started to grow and continue up to this day. Steve Jobs was the heart of the company, without which it could not exist. However, now Steve Jobs is gone. What will happen to a vertically integrated company, sharpened by its leader, while he is absent in the workplace? The company will die, slowly but steadily (Caddes 26). This will happen not because the company has no talent, but because no one in the company has the authority comparable to the authority of its founder. Additionally, the company does not have any mechanism to promote talented people to become leaders. Theoretically, Jobs could have transferred his authority and power to a person who, in his opinion, could have strength and power to manage business, but he never did. In practice, the company is steered by someone who owns it. Apple is a private company with high turnover, which is controlled by one person (Schlender 38). No automatic control mode has been provided. This machine used to have only one driver – Steve Jobs. No one else would ever dare to lead it.
Steve Jobs was a person, who has created and built an outstanding giant, Apple, Inc. He was a demanding person, who worked proactively to improve production and achieve perfection in everything, from manufacturing to leading and life management. Unfortunately, Steve Jobs has left his company, although he worked hard until his last breath. Thus, in the nearest future, people might watch Apple Inc. falling and fighting for its share of the market with the other two giants - Google and Facebook. However, there is still a chance for a better outcome if everyone listens to the advice given by Steve Jobs. Then, in the era of “after Jobs”, people will see how big companies acquire the ability to combine several core competencies and balance the rational with the spiritual. Steve Jobs was a brilliant mind of our century, who created not only perfect technologies but a whole philosophy of life.