Innovation Blog

The Seven Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs

By Shlomo Maital

 Steve Jobs

Carmine Gallo is a consultant who has specialized in a close study of Steve Jobs and what innovators can learn from this remarkable man.  His latest book is:  The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs, and it’s already a best-seller.  Here are the seven things we can learn from Steve Jobs, excerpted from Gallo’s book.  My own comments are in italics. 

Principle One: Do what you love. Steve Jobs once told a group of employees, “People with passion can change the world for the better.”  Jobs has followed his heart his entire life and that passion, he says, has made all the difference.  It’s very difficult to come up with new, creative, and novel ideas unless you are passionate about moving society forward.  This has become a cliché, but I meet people daily who continue to violate it. 

Principle Two: Put a dent in the universe. Passion fuels the rocket, but vision directs the rocket to its ultimate destination. In 1976, when Jobs and Steve Wozniak co-founded Apple, Jobs’ vision was to put a computer in the hands of everyday people.  Many of us aim far too low.  Aim so high you need an oxygen mask. The act of aiming high will itself create a powerful dynamic that helps you.

Principle Three: Kick start your brain. Steve Jobs once said “Creativity is connecting things.”  Connecting things means seeking inspiration from other industries.  It’s amazing how you can ‘import’ ideas from other industries, when other people fail to do so. Henry Ford imported the idea of an assembly line from a Chicago meat packing plant! 

Principle Four: Sell dreams, not products. To Steve Jobs, people who buy Apple products are not “consumers.”  They are people with hopes, dreams and ambitions.  In other words: We buy, because we like why Apple does things, not just what it does. 

Principle Five: Say no to 1,000 things. Steve Jobs once said, “I’m as proud of what we don’t do as I am of what we do.”  He is committed to building products with simple, uncluttered design.  And that commitment extends beyond products. From the design of the iPod to the iPad, from the packaging of Apple’s products, to the functionality of the Web site, in Apple’s world, innovation means eliminating the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.  Innovate by subtracting, not by adding. Simplify, simplify! Apply this to your life, too!

Principle Six: Create insanely great experiences. The Apple store has become the world’s best retailer by introducing simple innovations any business can adopt to create deeper, more emotional connections with their customers.  There are no cashiers in the Apple store!  Create not a store, not a business, not a product – create a customer experience!! 

Principle Seven: Master the message. Steve Jobs is the world’s greatest corporate storyteller, turning product launches into an art form.  You can have the most innovative idea in the world, but if you can’t get people excited about it, it doesn’t matter. Start your business with a powerful mantra, three words.  Disney: “We make people happy!”.  The mantra is not for your customers, it is for you and your fellow workers.  If you work at Apple, and you learn “think different”, how likely is it you will come up with a dull conventional design?