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Secrets of the success of Steve Jobs (interview with John Sculley)

In 1983, Steve Jobs managed to lure John Scully from Pepsi to Apple by one of the most famous sayings in the business: “Do you want to sell soda until the end of your days or do you want to try to change the world?”

Jobs and Scully co-managed Apple, mixing advanced technology (first Mac), breakthrough commercials (famous movie from 1984) and top-class design. But soon the relationship deteriorated, and now Scully is better known as the man who demanded Jobs’s resignation after a battle on the board of directors for control of the company.

Today, Scully for the first time publicly talks about Steve Jobs and the secrets of his success. This is Scully's first interview about Steve Jobs after in 1993 he was forced to leave the company.

“When I started working with Steve, I learned a lot about product development and marketing,” says Scully. "It is impressive that he professes all the same principles over the years." And he adds: “I see no change in Steve’s basic principles except that he is getting better and better at using them.”
I met Scully in the hotel lobby near Oakland airport. There Scully held meetings concerning his investment fund, and was about to head home to the east coast.

At first, Scully did not want to talk about Steve Jobs, his former Apple partner, who was both his protégé and his mentor.

"I do not keep in touch with Steve," Scully wrote in a preliminary correspondence in which we made an appointment. “He is still enraged by the fact that he was kicked out 22 years ago ... I don’t want to annoy him ... My job at Apple is ancient history, I’m doing very different things, I’m not interested in washing his bones in public.”

I assured Scully that I was a big Jobs fan and I’m not going to dig into dirty laundry. The only thing I would like to know is: how does he do that?

In the ensuing 90-minute conversation, Scully talked about the basic principles of Jobs. And here it is, written from the words of Scully, the method of creating great products.

Beautiful design
We both believed in beautiful design, and Steve thought it was especially important to start designing a design looking at it mainly from the user's point of view ... We looked at Italian designers ... We studied the works of Italian car designers. We really studied the designs of cars, looked at the insides, finishes, materials, colors and everything together. Nobody in Silicon Valley did that at the time. It was all so far from the 1980s Silicon Valley. And this is not my idea. I had to do with her, because I was interested in design and in the past was a designer, but Steve organized everything ... Many people did not understand that Apple is not just computers. This design, and marketing and positioning.

User Satisfaction
He evaluated any element from the user's point of view, and whether the user would like it ... The user's satisfaction was introduced at all stages of work, no matter whether the layout program or i-Tunes was developed. The user satisfaction system includes everything: production, supplies, marketing, stores.

No focus groups
Steve said: “How can I ask anyone what a graphic computer should be like if nobody has a clue what a graphic computer is current? No one has yet seen it. ”He believed that if someone showed, say, a calculator, he would not be able to imagine what a computer might look like - there are too many differences.

He was a very attentive person at every step. He methodically and carefully checked everything - a perfectionist to the bone marrow.

He believed that a computer would soon become a consumer product. This idea seemed insane in the early 1980s, people believed that personal computers were a smaller copy of large computers. So thought IBM. Some considered them game consoles, because There were already the first versions of gaming computers - very simple and connected to televisions. Steve thought about it in a completely different way. He believed that computers would change the world and become something that he called "a bicycle for the brain." That they will give people opportunities that they never even dreamed of. And it will not be consoles. And not just the reduction of large computers ... He had a terrific vision.

Steve's technique differs from the others in what he considered most important, not what you do, but what you decided not to do. He is a minimalist.
He is a minimalist and constantly simplifies things to the simplest level. This is not simplistic. This is a simplification. Steve is a systems designer. It simplifies the complicated.

Hire the best
Steve had the ability to find the best, most intelligent people. He was terribly charismatic and terribly persistent, persuading people to join him, he knew how to make people believe in his vision, even before the product appeared ... He always got to the best people. And he always engaged in hiring his team. I did not trust anyone in this matter.

Attention to details
On the one hand, he is engaged in “changing the world”, a big task. On the other hand, he works out in detail all that is required to create a product: hardware, system architecture, applications, peripherals — everything that is connected with the product ... He is constantly engaged in advertising, design, everything.

Limit the size
More about Steve can say that he did not respect the large organizations. He considered them too bureaucratic and ineffective. He used to call them "dumbass". That was his term for identifying companies that he did not respect.

Steve had a rule not to hire more than a hundred people in a Mac team. Therefore, if you need to hire someone, you need to fire someone. The explanation was typical of Steve: “I can't remember more than a hundred names, and I want to be surrounded by people I know personally. If we grow up for a hundred people, we will have to use a different organizational structure in which it will not work in this way. I love working in an environment in which I can reach for everything. ”All the time while we were together at Apple, he managed his unit in exactly this way.

Throw away bad work
All this is similar to the artist's studio, and Steve is in charge in this workshop, he walks and checks, and gives his conclusions about the work, and in many cases he decides to throw something out.

... The engineer shows Steve the latest version of the code. Steve scans and throws him: "Not good enough." He constantly forced people to raise the bar of their capabilities. And people created things that even they themselves did not consider possible ... Steve was very charismatic and convincing inspiring people, he inspired them with the belief that they were part of something insanely great. But on the other hand, he was ruthless, throwing out their work, if he did not consider it ideal enough to be included in the product - in the described case - Mac.

He distinguishes Steve Jobs from others, for example, Bill Gutz - Bill is also an outstanding person - but Bill has never been concerned with aesthetic pleasure. He was interested in market dominance. He was ready to do everything just to keep the market. Steve never did that. Steve was committed to the ideal.

System philosophy
The iPod is a great example of Steve’s technique, he started with the user and thought through the entire system from start to finish. He always thought through the system from start to finish. He was not a designer, but a great systems philosopher. This you will not find in any other company. Everything focuses on your piece, and the rest is outsourced.

If you look at your iPod, you will see that the entire supply chain leads to manufacturing in China and is as complex as the product itself. The same requirements of ideality, which are imposed on the development of design, are also imposed on supplies. All this is a completely different look at how it should be.

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/106251/

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