4. Big challenges beget the biggest accomplishments
The fourth thing I learned from Steve Jobs is the big challenges beget the biggest accomplishments. Give people what Tom Peters called the big hairy audacious goals. When IBM came into the computer business, Apple ran this ad, we welcomed IBM to the computer business because we wanted to take on the biggest, the most impressive, the most dominant company, welcome IBM seriously was a huge goal. Steve told us we want to defeat IBM, we want to send IBM back to the typewriter business holding its electric balls. And the biggest challenge begets the biggest accomplishments.
5. Design counts
Number 5: design counts. Don’t let people tell you that design doesn’t count. People care about thinness, and beautifulness and aluminum, not black ugly plastic laptops. How many of you use a big black thick ugly laptop? Hold your hands up. Yeah, you are oppressed because nobody – nobody voluntarily uses a big thick black ugly laptop. I feel bad for you, I feel bad for you. You could have something cool and thin and beautiful. Enough people in the world care about design. Design counts.
6. Use big graphics and big fonts
Number 6: use big graphics and big fonts. This is the key to pitching. Just do this and you’ll be better than 90% of the people using PowerPoint. I’ll show you a great, great Steve Jobs slide. This is Steve Jobs slide at its best. Huge Windows logo, huge logo, iTunes 150 point font. The best Windows app ever written. Steve jobs with this slide is proclaiming that Apple has written the best Windows app. He’s using a huge logo, huge font. Count how many words are on that slide. iTunes, the best Windows app ever written, like seven words. The key to great PowerPoint presentation: big font, big graphics. If you use a small font and you read your small font, what happens is the audience one slide into your presentation figures out this bozo is reading his slides verbatim. I can read the slides to myself faster than this bozo can read them to me. So why don’t I just read ahead and you lose your audience. If you want a – I realize this is a heavy engineering crowd, I’ll give you an algorithm. The algorithm is figure out who the oldest person is in the audience, divide his or her age by 2. If you’re talking to 60 year old people, divide by 2: 30 points. 50 year old people, divide by 2: 25 points. Some day you may be pitching a 60-year-old venture capitalist, god bless you, that day use the eight point font. But until that day big font, big graphic.
7. Changing your mind is a sign of intelligence
Number seven: changing your mind is a sign of intelligence. Many people believe that changing your mind is a sign of stupidity, because you got it wrong and you don’t want to admit that you’re wrong. You want to hide the fact that you’re wrong. You don’t want to hold it out that you had to change your mind. Steve Jobs taught me exactly the opposite.
This is a press release from June 11, 2007. This is when iPhone was introduced. “Our innovative approach, using Web 2.0 based standards lets developers create amazing new applications while keeping the iPhone secure and reliable.”
June 11, 2007. The introduction of the iPhone. Steve jobs is telling you why there can be no third-party apps for an iPhone. If you want to do something that adds functionality to an iPhone you have to have a Safari plugin. It’s because we’re doing your favor. We want you to have a phone that is secure and reliable. One could logically ask at that point, well, Steve, why do you say that the phone has to be secure and reliable but the computer doesn’t? Why is it that there are third party apps for the computer? Never mind. Don’t ask.
A year later, Apple press release. “Apple Executives to Showcase Mac OS X Leopard and OS X iPhone development platforms at Worldwide Developers Conference 2008 Keynote”. One year, later Steve Jobs has gone from ‘we are going to allow no third party apps for the iPhone’ to ‘we now have an iPhone development platform, may there be many many different kinds of apps ranging from measuring your heart rate to ifart whatever it takes, right? This is a 180-degree reversal. Steve Jobs said closed system, Steve Jobs said open system 12 months later. Changing your mind is a sign of intelligence. And just FYI, when Steve Jobs in 2007 said that the iPhone had to be closed that you would have a secure and safe phone, all the experts said my god, Steve is right. You have to have a really secure and protected phone.
12 months later, Steve opens up the phone and guess what the experts say, my god, Steve is right. You want an open system, so you can have an app for that.
8. Value is not equal to price
Number eight, value is not equal to price. There’s a difference here. Macintosh, iPhone, iPod, any of those things, i-anything is not the cheapest but arguably it is the highest value. This is a screenshot from an ad where the Windows guy had to run a bake sale to get money to support the bugs in Windows NT. The Macintosh guy doesn’t have to do that because there are less bugs. Effectively it’s saying that yes, Macintosh may cost more at the front end but when you consider training and support and debugging, it is a better value. Price is different from value. Try to never fight on price.