Steve Jobs' Legacy: Understanding Talent

Photo of Steve Jobs in front of an Apple logo

Steve Jobs' Legacy: Understanding Talent



LISTEN To The Daily Numbers podcast [MP3].

TrendForce expects that 2012 shipments of the iPhone will top 100 million units.
Possibly reaching 110 million units.
They also forecasts Apple will sell more than 80 million iPhones this year.
And possibly up to 90 million.

THOUGHT: Even in death, Steve Jobs’ company will dominate.

In the wake of his passing yesterday, I want to talk about what Steve Jobs leaves behind.

The gadgets his company created are certainly one of his legacies and as awesome as those gadgets are, they may be the least profound evidence of his effect on the world.

Jobs didn’t create the digital music industry but with the iPod and the standard ninety-nine cent music pricing of iTunes, he helped to revolutionize the music industry.

Jobs didn’t invent the tablet computer but his timing coupled with his understanding of was needed for it to take off created the product category that is experiencing explosive growth as we speak largely as a result of iPad sales.

I think Jobs’ understanding of the importance of design will be his lasting legacy. The simplicity and beauty Apple’s products set consumer expectations that complex technology need not be complicated; that technology should be obvious and just work and it can be gorgeous as well.

So how did he do it?

I think Steve Jobs was successful because he understood the importance of having a talent pool with a broad understanding of the world. In a 1994 interview, Jobs said:

“I think part of what made the Macintosh great was that the people working on it were musicians, poets, artists, zoologists and historians who also happened to be the best computer scientists in the world.”

Having a broad understanding of the world, rather than only a concentrated specialty, gives one more material from which to draw connections, from which to mash up disparate ideas to create a new idea, come up with a novel concept or a unique solution. 

For communications professionals specifically, we need to heed the lessons Jobs taught us about visual communications, simplicity and design. 


THROWBACK THURSDAY: Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford commencement speech.  


SNOWY ENOUGH FOR YA? – It’s 80 degrees and sunny today in Minneapolis and I”ve been researching snow. When people search to get rid of snow, specifically. Searches for the phrases “Snow Removal,” “Snow Plowing,” “Snow Plows” and “Snow Blowers” follow a fairly predictable seasonal pattern: They begin to rise gradually from August through November and then spike in December, January and February. 

But when you look at the data for each search individually, you find that the volume of searches for “Snow Plows” and “Snow Blowers” rises faster than the others in August through October but not as high as “Snow Removal” and “Snow Plowing” in the peak months of December through February. 

I interpret that to mean that those who are searching for snow plows and snow blowers are more likely to be people in the snow removal business researching those products to buy for the upcoming season while the others are ordinary folks who need snow removed. 


Thank you for Steve Jobs.



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