What is innovation? Innovation is a new way of doing things that results in positive change. It makes life better. Innovation can be big or small but the principles apply to many aspects of life. As such, The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs is more than just about innovation. It’s about principles that have guided Jobs throughout his life. Innovation is about thinking differently, making new connections and making things better.
Author Carmine Gallo offers not rules, systems, or steps to greater innovation, but inspiring principles that can be applied to your own situation to get you to think differently. The principles are:
- Do What You Love. Think differently about your career. Jobs advises, “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. …My goal wasn’t to die the richest man in the cemetery. It was to go to bed at night saying, we’ve done something wonderful.”
- Put a Dent in the Universe. Think differently about your vision. Jobs attracts like-minded people who share his vision and who help turn his ideas into world-changing innovations. Passion fuels Apple’s rocket, and Job’s vision creates destination.
- Kick Start Your Brain. Think differently about how you think. Innovation does not exist without creativity, and for Steve Jobs, creativity is the act of connecting things. Jobs believes that a broad set of experiences broadens our understanding of the human experience.
- Sell Dreams, Not Products. Think differently about your customers. To Jobs, people who by Apple products are not “consumers.” They are people with dreams, hopes, and ambitions. Jobs builds products to help them fulfill their dreams. “Some people think you’ve got to be crazy to buy a Mac. But in that craziness, we see genius.” says Jobs
- Say No to 1,000 Things. Simplify. Think differently about design. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, according to Jobs. From the designs of the iPod to the iPhone, from the packaging of Apple’s products to the functionality of the Apple website, innovation means eliminating the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. Jobs: “I’m as proud of what we don’t do as I am of what we do.”
- Create Insanely Great Experiences. Think differently about your brand experience. Jobs has made Apple Stores the gold standard in customer service. The Apple Store has become the world’s best retailer by introducing simple innovations any business can adopt to make deep, lasting emotional connections with its customers. Use analogies or metaphors to think about a problem. By finding the similarities between two things that are unalike, your brain makes new and sometimes profound connections.
- Master the Message. Think differently about your story. Jobs is the preeminent corporate storyteller, turning product launches into an art form. You can have the most innovative idea in the world, but if you cannot get people excited about it, your innovation doesn’t matter. Make your brand story consistent across all platforms: presentations, website, advertising, marketing materials, social media.
Confidence is a key to innovation. Jobs told Stanford graduates, “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.” “Most important,” writes Gallo, “how you think about yourself and your business will have the greatest impact on the creation of new ideas that will grow your business and improve the lives of your customers.”
Gallo provides a lot of background on Jobs and in doing so has written an inspiring, down-to-earth book that will encourage you to imagine what you could do by thinking differently.