The Steve Jobs Guide To Quality Products

Steve JobsWhen Steve Jobs died on October 5 at the age of 56, he left behind a staggering legacy. Apple is the most valuable technology company on earth; its products have become some of the most beloved of all time. Jobs’ company was built on the idea that products should enhance the lives of their users.

Not only should products look elegant and timeless, they should work the way you think they should – simply and effectively. Their enduring quality and usability is what matters most. Simply put, Jobs built things that lived up to the hype.

In His DNA

Thanks to Steve Jobs, Apple appeared to be capable of making products that were perfect right out of the gate. You didn’t have to accept the idea that something wouldn’t work the first time you used it, or that there might be a few updates to a piece of software before it functioned correctly. In fact, anytime an Apple product shipped and there was a perception that the quality had slipped even a little bit (I’m looking at you, iPhone 4 death grip), it became almost a bigger story than the actual product launch.

This is a testament to Jobs’ fastidiousness. The products developed under his watch were of such quality that any mistakes seemed almost unbelievable.

His Imprint On The Company

The way that Jobs looked at the products his company produced was very unique in the industry. Here are a few examples:

  • Apple never rushes a product out to be the first in the market.
    The iPhone was not the first smartphone and the iPad was not the first tablet computer. These products filled a void in the market in the way they functioned,not in the product themselves.
  • They don’t sell their products based on specifications; they do it based on the experience
    If you’ll notice, Apple doesn’t promote the processor speed or RAM as a key feature of their products. Rather, they consider how these products can make your life better, how they can help you. Other companies who try to go after Apple’s dominance notoriously push their products out in hopes of gaining market share.Some succeed and others fail, but in the end, Jobs created a legacy of quality. Apple’s products are the benchmark by which others are measured.

Enduring Dominance

Jobs’ ensured that Apple remained dominant by means of the following:

  1. They didn’t use release dates
    The product was ready when it was ready. By working on their own timetable for when something would come out, they weren’t driven by the competition. They were driven by the quality of the product.
  2. A simplified product line
    For example, there’s only one version of the iPhone. If you want an Android phone, there are literally dozens of manufacturers out there. All feature phones with different specs, screen sizes and variations of the operating system running them. When Jobs’ came back to Apple in 1997, one of the first things he did was reduce the size of Apple’s product line dramatically. He focused on a few quality products, rather than hundreds of mediocre ones. He once said, “We’re always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it’s only by saying no that you can concentrate
    on the things that are really important.”
  3. Intuitive products
    Apple products are used by a wide variety of people, from children to senior citizens. People have migrated to their products from Windows because of the increased ease of use. The quality of the products means that they work effectively right out of the box.

Conclusion

Steve Jobs’ enduring legacy will be his products, and the mark that he made on those products is their quality. This is hard wired into every Apple product he had a hand in developing. Companies in every industry talk about how they want to be the Apple of whatever it is that they do. These will always be good goals to have, but unless their focus is 100% on the craftsmanship and user experience of their products, there will still be no comparison.





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Posted in Marketing, Product Launch Marketing

 


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