While I made the switch over to Apple and Mac about 4 years ago – I never considered myself an “Apple fanboy”. Not even close.
I don’t rush out to buy the new iPhone the day it comes out nor would I ever stand in line for more than 10 minutes with the rest of the crazies.
However, the past couple of weeks I have really been digging into the company to see what’s the real secret to their success.
During the past 2 weeks I’ve been on a tear and read the following books about Apple and it’s founder, the late Steve Jobs:
- Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success
- The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Principles for Breakthrough Success
- The Steve Jobs Way – iLeadership for a New Generation
Oh yeah – I’m hooked.
In fact, I’ve read each book twice already and plan on about a dozen more readings of each one (plus a bunch more to buy!).
I thought I was getting better at simplifying my business and product line – but I’m a big, fat bloated mess compared to Apple and Jobs. And these books have given me a BIG idea about the new direction of my business (you’ll see the results in a couple of weeks).
In the meantime, I want to share some insight about Apple & Steve Jobs. But, in true “Ryan Lee” style (yes, I did just refer to myself in 3rd person), I will give you specific takeaways you can implement in your business in case you don’t have a few billion in cash reserves like Apple does :)
There are so many lessons to take away from these books – the BIG one I got can be summed up with one word.
Over and over again, the books talk about how obsessed Steve Jobs was with simplicity. They used a phrase to “hit it with the simple stick”.
There are a few great examples of infusing simplicity in your business – but it today’s first post (in an ongoing series), I want to focus on one core principle…
SIMPLIFY YOUR PRODUCT LINE
Steve Jobs was forced out of Apple in 1985 – but when came back in 1997, the product line had already ballooned to lots of models with confusing names like Centra and Quadrus.
The first thing he did at a meeting was draw a simple chart with just 4 boxes. And in each box he put the 4 type sof computers Apple will create…
- Laptop for Business
- Laptop for Personal
- Desktop for Business
- Desktop for Personal
That’s it. Just 4 models to choose from. And with that simple chart, there were MASSIVE benefits…
He made it SIMPLE for the customers to choose a product.
He made it SIMPLE for customer support to recommend the right model.
He made it SIMPLE for manufacturing to create great products by focusing on a few core models.
He made it SIMPLE to run his company.
He made it SIMPLE for his employees to focus.
Think about how that type of thinking can transform your business.
YOUR PRODUCT LINE
I’ve been just as guilty of creating too many products that don’t match – with too many confusion options. And believe me, there’s no one who has more entrepreneurial ADD than me. I’m addicted to creating products.
So I know how difficult it can be to focus and simplify.
I’ve come up with a SIMPLE assignment for you.
See if you can draw a chart with just 4 sections and fit your products (or future products) in those 4 boxes. That’s all you get. 4 products.
It will be difficult – but I know it can help get you thinking in terms of simplicity.
Trust me, you’ll thank me for it :)
SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK AND IDEAS BELOW!
P.S. Please help spread the world by liking, tweeting and +1!
P.P.S. Want to transform your business? Check this out.