FEAR IS YOUR BEST FRIEND
Under Steve Jobs, Apple became more than a computer company.
It became more than a technology company.
It became more than an entertainment company.
More than a design company.
You name it.
Steve Jobs took Apple wherever he wanted to take it.
And sometimes the category didn’t even exist.
He didn’t need anyone to advise him where ‘line-extensions’ made sense.
He didn’t do the conventional thing.
He didn’t look to see what he could do with the computer.
He looked to see what that technology could mean to people.
In 2001, Steve Jobs took the basic idea of a hard drive and turned it into the iPod.
He said “Just think of it: 1,000 tunes in your pocket.”
And he built an entire product category.
By 2007, Apple had sold a hundred million iPods.
That year they turned over $7 billion revenue.
And half of that had come from the iPod.
But that success was exactly what worried Steve Jobs.
Several years before, he saw that iPod made Apple vulnerable.
What worried him wasn’t other competitors.
There weren’t any.
What worried him were camera phones.
Jobs knew, if phone manufacturers could do build-in cameras, they could build-in music players.
People would always carry phones in their pocket.
If they had music on a phone, they wouldn’t need iPods.
In a flash, Jobs saw something no other marketer would have seen.
He could come at that device from the other side.
And he realised Apple must get into the phone business.
Except for Apple, it would be the ‘everything you’ll ever need in your pocket’ business.
But Jobs didn’t want an ordinary, ugly phone like everyone else.
He wanted a beautiful, minimalist phone.
How could he do it?
Well for several years, he had a team working on making a tablet computer.
Beautiful slim, minimalist, with no keyboard.
The keyboard would only appear on screen.
The problem with all such devices was they needed a hand held stylus.
Jobs always held up his finger and said, “No, this is the stylus.”
And the tablet team eventually made a touch sensitive screen that worked with the human finger.
So, when Steve Jobs decided Apple had to make a phone, he told them “Stop working on the tablet, bring that technology to the phone.”
Which enabled Apple to bring out a phone that blew everyone away.
Overnight the iPhone was instantly the pinnacle of all mobile phones.
Although the iPhone accounts for 4% of all mobile phone sales worldwide by volume, it accounts for 50% of all mobile phone sales worldwide by profit.
In 2011, the iPhone became the largest selling phone in the world by revenue, surpassing Nokia.
After the launch, the touch-screen team went back to working on the tablet.
And they launched the iPad in 2010.
Conventional wisdom said it just looked like a big iPhone.
No one realised the iPad had actually been developed first.
In 2011, Apple sales were $9.5 billion, made up a follows:
5 million computers.
15 million iPads.
37 million iPhones.
Sales would have looked very different if Steve Jobs hadn’t been worried at the point of greatest success.