Products Before Profits And Bros Before Hoes
Can we all agree that Harvard Business Review is all about idealistic management and leadership techniques that nobody uses unless you’re Greg Smith or the Dalai Lama? Good. Then you’ll enjoy seeing Walter Isaacson try to fit Steve Jobs in the HBR mold in the article he just wrote called The Real Leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs.
I’m sure Jobs spent as much time reading HBR as he did on R&D. But really, I’m glad Isaacson is still churning out articles about Jobs – he makes it very easy for me to avoid reading the five million page biography, but still talk to people about it as if I’ve read it.
Don’t pretend like you don’t do that.
5 Keys To Apple’s Success According To Isaacson
1) Focus – The best time management trick is to stop festering and start focusing. Jobs was a master at this. He didn’t have enough hours in the day to not be this way. Some call this compartmentalizing, Isaacson calls this Zen training, I call it brain training. If you’re a festerer, you need to rewire your brain so you stop festering and then have more time to get stuff done. Go to therapy to learn how to do some rewiring, or read Mindsight by Dan Siegel. I like his stuff.
2) Simplify – Here’s a “summary” I pulled out of a research report from the FT on what to do if interest rates start going up, it’s pretty much as clear as mud:
The correlation is most positive when real bond yields are below 2 percent. It remains positive when real bond yields are below 4 percent and only turns negative at real bond yields above 4 percent (chart 2). Real bond yields above 4 percent are a threat to equities, in our view, because this is when they threaten to choke off investment spending. It matters little whether we look at real or nominal bond yields. The pattern is similar for both (chart 3). – HSBC’s Peter Sullivan, Robert Parkes and Garry Evans
To simplify doesn’t mean to summarize.
Isaacson said that Jobs looked for the simplicity that comes from conquering complexity. You can’t ignore complexity, you have to understand the complexity so you can distill it down to something simple.
- You’ll borrow money to buy stuff as long as interest rates are low.
- Once interest rates start to go up and hit a a certain level, say 4 percent, you’re tapped out. At 4 percent it’s not worth it to you to borrow money so you can buy stuff because you don’t want to pay high interest on the money you’re borrowing.
- Since you stop buying stuff from companies, stocks start to do poorly, and the economy starts to slow down.
I bet you one black turtleneck you could regurgitate the simplified version in two seconds.
3) Take Responsibly End To End –
People are busy, Jobs said. They have other things to do than think about how to integrate their computer and devices.
One of things I love about Jobs (which I may or may not be making up since I didn’t read his biography) is he got it that most people don’t like to sit around and figure out how to use stuff. Make it so they don’t have to figure anything out. People are lazy and just want to be told what to do.
So I’m telling you, here’s an email script below* to send to your financial advisor so you can start talking about what to do if interest rates start to go up. Don’t think about it, just send it.
4) Products Before Profits – and bros before hoes. Salespeople are focused on short term profits and overnight success because that’s how they pay their bills and feed their kids and stuff. They sell and then they get paid. Product people don’t. Face palm, big dilemma, salespeople and product people hate each other because they operate on different timelines.
Jobs’s point is if you have bad products, salespeople won’t be able to sell anything.
5) Impute – People judge a book by its cover and anyone who doesn’t admit that is delusional. The saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” wouldn’t even exist if people weren’t already judging a book by its cover! People judge, so knowing that, make the damn cover good.
There were nine others. You can read the rest of them through the link below, or not. You now have enough intel to pretend like you read the bio.
Hi, can we talk about a plan for when interest rates start to go up? ….click here for rest of script.
Image via flickr: Annie Bannanie 06
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