What can we learn from Steve Jobs?


Last night, like many of us, I learned of Steve Jobs’ death on a device that he helped invent. My IPAD 2, given to me by the kind folks at XY7.com popped an alert saying that he had died. I should say that it’s actually my almost-two year olds’ IPAD because he uses it as much as anyone. That in itself has to be a testimony to the innovation of APPLE and its product: that an 18-month year old boy can use an IPAD2 to play games, read books and interact with his parents (and grand-parents!) on a web camera.  The death of Steve Jobs actually touched me, almost as much as the death of Isaac Asimov in 1992. Perhaps that is in itself poignant, as many of the things that Asimov predicted in his books in the 1940’s became true because of Steve Jobs.  Whatever the reason was, I started to think about Steve Jobs and how Performance and Affiliate Marketers can learn from this man.

If anything, Steve Jobs was an innovator. Someone who likes to play with technology and create products that everyone could enjoy. That’s actually what got him originally fired from Apple, the company he founded. Those in charge at the time couldn’t control him, couldn’t get him on “the plan” they had for the company, and he refused to change to fit what they needed.  Jobs said of this, “I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything.”

From there he went out to create the company NeXT in 1986 and took many of the more innovate members of Apple with him.  At NeXT he did what he wanted, and created the corporate culture that he felt had hurt Apple. Everything from salaries to benefits was completely different from any major corporation at the time, and included health insurance for unmarried couples and same sex couples. The idea was that NeXT was to be a company that allowed people to THINK, to CREATE.

In 1996, Apple bought NeXT and the company soon became the foundation of the new Apple.  The corporate culture that he created at NeXT was transported into Apple and all the officers and senior members of Apple were replaced with NeXT counter-parts.  The NeXT operating system became the new Mac OS systems.

We all know the story after that, of the enormous success that Apple had, the products created and how they have changed the world.  In 2011, as society seems to be changing, as we find ourselves bailing out bankers while cutting health care for children, it’s hard to often celebrate success.  We’ve all become accustomed to hearing how bad it is out there, how there is no way to be successful, no way to change your destiny anymore.  As performance marketers however, I think we’ve all learned that is complete bull-hoey and that anyone can still find a level of success that could only be dreamed of by our parents.  Many of us are the next generation’s Steve Jobs.

We are creating products, promoting strategies and owning our own destiny. We use the newest technology, and then change it to fit our needs and our plans.

When things don’t fit our plan, we can pick up, start again, move on, and find a better solution. 

We are the innovators of the online marketplace. We all are Steve Jobs.

On that note, I leave you with the following:

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.– Steve Jobs

What's your opinion?