I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
If Steve Jobs had been invited to speak to a class of business school students in the days of the first Apple computer and had been able to describe the management style he would eventually invent for Apple Computer, Inc., you can be pretty sure the professor would have thrown him out on his ear and told the students not to pay attention to anything he said. Steve’s management style simply violated just about every rule that company men have lived by since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
And yet despite this and despite his flaws and the fact that he could be harshly critical and demanding, Steve’s approach didn’t just work, it made possible the flow of innovative products that have changed the way we live. In the process, Steve’s approach has made Apple arguably the most successful company in the history of business.
Was this kind of leadership possible only because of Steve’s particular, peculiar charismatic personality? I wrote this book because I don’t think that’s true.
Creating products so great that they can change society doesn’t start with product development; it starts with a vision. Steve used to say that communicating your ...