What Would Steve Jobs Do? How The Steve Jobs Way Can Inspire Anyone To Think Differently And Win

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Lead and Succeed Like the World’s Greatest Business Innovator

There’s no accounting for Steve Jobs’s mind. He just didn’t think the way the rest of the world does. Regarded by many as the most innovative and influential business leader of our time, Jobs was a visionary beyond compare. He was why Apple is Apple and everyone else is everyone else.

We can’t transform ourselves into Steve Jobs. How he put his ...

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Lead and Succeed Like the World’s Greatest Business Innovator

There’s no accounting for Steve Jobs’s mind. He just didn’t think the way the rest of the world does. Regarded by many as the most innovative and influential business leader of our time, Jobs was a visionary beyond compare. He was why Apple is Apple and everyone else is everyone else.

We can’t transform ourselves into Steve Jobs. How he put his ideas into action, however, was systematic, efficient, focused, and smart. And this you can do.

What Would Steve Jobs Do? presents the six-part business model Jobs applied to make Apple the most valuable publicly traded manufacturing corporation in the world and the global model for business excellence. While the results of this model can be profound, each step is something you can easily focus on with clarity and purpose:

Customer—Understand your customers so well that you know what they want more than they do.

Vision—Don’t stop thinking at “new product”; synthesize your ideas, products, and technologies around a specific game-changing customer issue.

Culture—Create an environment filled with people who consider “can’t” a bad word.

Product—Approach your product as something that can change the world— not just something to beat the competition or get a job done.

Message—Deliver a message so compelling that it becomes an extension of the product itself.

Personal Brand—Make people think constancy, promise, and trust when they think of you.

Steve Jobs was a true original. What we’ve all learned from him is incalculable. And what we can continue to learn from him will shape the world.

Transform your organization, recast your future, and do your part to redefine our world using the wisdom and foresight of the greatest business sage in generations.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071792745
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
  • Publication date: 12/9/2011
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 637,307
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Sander is a researcher, business consultant, and former marketing program manager for a major Silicon Valley tech firm. He is the author of 27 business books on innovation, marketing, economics, and investing. He has an MBA from Indiana University and lives in Granite Bay, CA.

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Read an Excerpt

What would Steve Jobs do?

How the Steve Jobs Way Can Inspire Anyone to Think Differently and Win


The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Copyright © 2012Peter Sander
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-07-179274-5




What a computer is to me is the most remarkable tool that we have ever come up with. It's the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.

—Steve Jobs, 1991

Without doubt, the whole Apple story began with the birth and growth of Steve Jobs, whose birth preceded the birth of Apple Computer by just 21 years. His early years were formative and revealing, and are definitely a big part of the Apple story and the development of Steve's leadership style.

Apple's early years obviously represented a very creative and entrepreneurial phase in Steve's life and career. His salesmanship was vital to getting the new product off the ground. His counterculture vision helped the entire enterprise steer clear of the prevailing wisdom of the day: that computers were things that belonged in the data center and were handled only by professionals. Steve saw beyond the status quo, recognized what computers could do, especially if they were combined with the right software, and knew how to sell the idea to the public.

What Steve was leading in this era was essentially a garage enterprise, but he also showed his mettle at managing large groups to produce technical and product accomplishments. While he seemed to know that he needed experienced business leaders alongside of him ("adult supervision"), he didn't necessarily share their views.

He grew suspicious of corporate-style thinking and bureaucracy, and eventually left Apple in a feud with then-CEO John Sculley and the board of directors, even though many of the directors had been picked by Steve himself. But did that end Steve's career as an innovator, entrepreneur, and leader? Hardly. It led to an amazingly successful "rebirth" 10 years later (which will be covered in Chapter 2).

Early Adoption

Steve Jobs's entry into the world was anything but mainstream from the start. He was born in San Francisco on February 24, 1955, to a pair of unwed 23-year-old University of Wisconsin graduate students. His father, a native Syrian named Abdulfattah "John" Jondali, went on to become a political science professor, while his mother, then Joanne Simpson, became a speech language pathologist. Although the couple would later marry—and produce the novelist Mona Simpson as a biological sister—they placed their first and then unborn son up for adoption.

Adopted he was, by Paul and Clara Jobs of Mountain View, California, an emerging suburban community about 45 miles south of San Francisco, 10 miles south of Stanford University, and at the edge of what would eventually become the heart of Silicon Valley.

Now, Steve's biological parents had one condition for the adoptive parents: that they be college graduates. It's unclear why this condition was ignored, but neither of his adoptive parents had finished college; in fact, his adoptive father had never graduated from high school. But they did pledge their life savings to send Steve to college. They were loving parents and supported everything the curious and energetic Steve wanted to do.

And yes, Steve did go to college—to Reed College, an intellectually charged private liberal arts college in the forested southern inner suburbs of Portland, Oregon. He went for one semester, then dropped out.

But before that, Jobs had attended the mainstream local schools, Cupertino High School and Homestead High School, both less than two miles from what is now Apple headquarters. In the early 1970s, the South Bay Area was changing rapidly from fruit orchards to attractive and clean new suburbs with beautiful streetscapes, plenty of trees, and earth-toned homes for everyone.

Not everything was modern; the local landmark Moffett Field had (and still has) two large hangars that were originally built for dirigibles. The major street corner closest to where Apple's headquarters is today featured a huge prune processing plant. But for the most part, there was a newness and excitement about the area, close to Stanford University, where some of the original research and development that led first to the transistor, then to the semiconductor and printed-circuit board took place. The high-tech boom was beginning.

Steve enjoyed the South Bay Area weather and "vibe" just as any teen would. But he also developed a fascination with electronics. Before he reached his teen years, he attended a demonstration of computers (really just terminals) at the NASA Ames Research Center, co-located at Moffett Field (the site of the dirigible hangars). From that point on, Steve really thrived on being around the many engineers and professionals in the high-tech business.

While in high school, curious Steve attended after-school lectures at the Hewlett-Packard Company in nearby Palo Alto (the home of Stanford). In 1970, a mutual friend introduced him to his early partner and tech whiz, Steve Wozniak (known as Woz), who was five years his senior. Woz, who had also gone to Homestead High School, was in college, but also worked at HP. In the summer of 1972, Steve Jobs worked as a summer employee alongside Steve Wozniak.

Steve Wozniak was working as a technician on what would eventually become a minicomputer. Steve Jobs wondered whether a computer on a single printed-circuit board could be made and sold.

Open Circuit

But that idea took a long time to bear fruit. Steve graduated from high school and headed off to Reed for that fall semester in 1972. But Steve was a creative guy back then, and he had already adopted his long-serving motto, "Do what you love to do." College structure really wasn't something that Steve loved. He started exploring other possibilities. He wanted something that he could get passionate about.

At that point in his life, he had no idea what that something really was. But it was pretty clear even then that it wasn't going to fit the mainstream path that most people in that era aspired to: go to college, get a degree, take a job, and rise through the ranks. Steve was different.

Instead, Steve hung on in the Reed area and hung out with friends, reportedly raising cash by collecting soda bottles and getting some free meals at the local Hare Krishna temple. He audited a few classes he was interested in. He was what most people at the time would have called a hippie.

Most famously, he audited a calligraphy class. That class piqued his interest in graphic design, especially in the beauty, appeal, and proportion of different type fonts. It was an epiphany in disguise, for later Steve would draw on that experience to define the Macintosh as a graphics-based machine. "If I had never dropped in on that course, the Mac would have never have had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts," he shared years later.


By 1974, Jobs had been exposed to a lot of new things, among them the spiritual life and culture of India. He returned to the Bay Area and, circling back to his interest in electronics, took a job at video game maker Atari, then a booming Valley outfit. His goal: to earn enough money for a trip to India, a spiritual retreat.

Never one to stop short of a goal, Steve traveled to India. He traveled with Reed College buddy Daniel Kottke, who eventually became the first employee at Apple. The purpose of the trip was to gain spiritual enlightenment from the popular Hindu guru Neem Karoli Baba, but he had passed away before Steve and Daniel managed to get there. It's not completely clear what Steve and Daniel did in India, but they came back Buddhists with shaved heads and traditional Indian clothing.

One thing that is clear is that they experimented with psychedelics, notably LSD. Perhaps we really

Excerpted from What would Steve Jobs do? by PETER SANDER. Copyright © 2012 by Peter Sander. Excerpted by permission of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xi

$380 Billion xiv

Anatomy of a Superstar xvi

The Core Idea xvii

A Road Map to Excellence xix

Chapter 1 Born 1

Early Adoption 3

Open Circuit 5

Enlightenment 6

The Apple I, Almost a Computer 8

Executek? Or Apple Computer? 9

Rejection? So What: The Vision Gains Momentum 10

From Genesis to Exodus 11. A Mac in Every Household 16

Chapter 2 Born Again 23

What Came NeXT 25

More Than a Toy Story 27

Back to the Future: Steve Returns to Apple 28

The Vision Gets a Soundtrack 32

One Button Success: The iPhone 34

Putting It All Together: The iPad 35

Against the Grain: Achieving Excellence in Retail 37

"Unfortunately, That Day Has Come 41

Chapter 3 Model 45

All Leaders Are Tyrants 46

Button-Down Definitions of Leadership 48

A Different Drummer 51

The "Tyrant" Part 52

Rule Maker, Rule Breaker 55

A Definition Steve Would Have Liked 57

Achievement, Not Money and Power 60

The Zen of Respect 61

The Right Hand for the Left Hand 64

The Steve Jobs Leadership Model 65

Chapter 4 Customer 73

A Decent Burial 75

Faster Horses Don't Matter 77

There's a "C" in Leadership 82

Sensing Your Customers 84

See the Customer 85

See the Experience 88

Be the Customer 95

Should You Try This Yourself? 99

Developing Your Own Customer Connectivity 100

Vision: The Glue Connecting the Customer to Your Organization 101

Chapter 5 Vision 105

Not Invented Here Just Made Perfect 108

The Difference between Invention and Innovation 109

What Is a Visionary? 113

Can You Be a Visionary? 114

What Is a Vision? 115

Don't Confuse Vision with a Mission 119

Don't Confuse Vision with Passion 120

It's All about Synthesis 121

Chapter 6 Culture 127

The Culture of Can Do 129

"It's More Fun to Be a Pirate Than to Join the Navy" 134

"The System Is That There Is No System" 138

"The Only Way to Do Great Work Is to Love What You Do" 145

Keeping the Focus 149

Chapter 7 Product 155

Cool Air at the Summit 157

"It's Not a Phone, It's a Platform" 158

"Simple Can Be Harder Than Complex" 165

Don't Forget the Cool 169

Chapter 8 Message 173

Be the Face of Your Company 178

Outside In 180

The Message Simple and Elegant 181

Special Delivery 184

Chapter 9 Brand 193

Brand Essence 195

On Developing a Personal Brand 197

Personal Brand Matters 200

Personal Brand, Company Brand 202

Reaching the Summit 204

The Legacy Lives On 206

Index 209

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2013

    I am crying right now

    Steve was such a good person why did you leave us?

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