This week the world lost Steve Jobs, one of the most influential figures in the technology and business world. Although Apple didn’t invent mp3’s or cell phones, they certainly created a phenomenal market for these items with their outstanding and must-have products such as the iPod and iPhone. Steve’s vision for these products and ability to get his company to innovate these creations is what took Apple from an ordinary computer maker to one of the strongest and most powerful companies in the world to date.
One of my favorite stories about Steve Jobs is when he was first brought back to Apple in the late 90’s a few years after he was forced to leave. The company was heading towards bankruptcy and needed a change. At the time, Apple had hundreds of different products available on the market. One of the first things he did was do away with over 90% of these items and reduced their product line down to about 10. This move allowed Apple to REALLY focus on putting out innovative and stand-out products like their Mac Book line, the iPod line, iTunes, and much, much more.
Although this is a fantastic example for business, I feel there is also a life lesson to be learned here as well. Too often we are focused on being good at all the hundreds of different things we are challenged with throughout our lives. However, by doing so we never stand out as exceptional because we spread ourselves too thin. To truly be successful, you really need to narrow your focus and develop only a handful of truly great and valuable talents. By directing your attention and your habits on just these few small personality traits, you position yourself towards a much better chance of creating stand-out quality.