It’s the detail that counts, and the packaging matters.
I could just stop there, because if there is anything I’ve learned from watching Apple under Steve Job’s leadership, I think that would be enough.
Whether you are an Apple fan or not is not important. You may prefer Android or Windows. It doesn’t matter. On the day after Steve Jobs announced his resignation, it is hard not to recognize the impact he has had.
I am a fan of Apple products. I buy them for their function, but also for their form. I’m a sucker for great design, and Apple products make me smile by their very simplicity and the compulsive attention to detail that is evident at every turn.
The URL that you need to retrieve a forgotten AppleID password is iForgot.Apple.com. It’s a little thing, but just one example of an excruciating and uncompromising commitment to every last point.
But, in my opinion, Steve Jobs’ extraordinary vision, and high stakes risk taking, have been equal contributors to Apple’s recent meteoric growth. Market research would not have predicted the demand for the iPod or iPad. (I wrote about this phenomenon in my post Nobody asked for Twitter or Butterflies.)
With these two products, Apple created two new market categories and it did so by believing completely in the vision, and placing a big bet. Then they got it right first time, repeatedly.
One of my very favorite quotations from Steve Jobs (and there are many) came from his well-known commencement address at Stanford in 2005.
You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.
When we design our Dealmaker software application, we do so on Apple computers. We’re inspired to do better.
And, I can’t think of tougher test that we could set ourselves than asking “Would we be happy to show this to Steve Jobs?”. One of my proudest moments at The TAS Group was the day we added the Apple logo to list of Dealmaker users.
As Seth Godin said today, "Business didn’t used to be personal, now it is. Computers didn’t used to make us smile, now they do". Personal is good, because it just means we care more.
So, next time you’re shipping a product, or pitching a sale, ask yourself “Is this the very best I can do? What would Steve say?” My guess is that you will make it better.