Steve Jobs’ advice: ‘Just get rid of the crappy stuff’

“Apple recently passed Google as the most valuable brand in the world. It’s extraordinary to think that the world’s top brand has a product portfolio that could fit on a small table. Of course that’s part of the reason why Apple is so successful—its relentless focus on creating a small number of simple and elegant products,” Carmine Gallo blgos for Forbes. “When I was conducting the research for my book, The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs, I came across one story that provides a glimpse into how Steve Jobs and the company he co-founded has achieved its stunning success.”

“The story comes to us courtesy of Nike CEO, Mark Parker,” Gallo reports. “He said shortly after becoming CEO, he talked to Steve Jobs on the phone. ‘Do you have any advice?’ Parker asked Jobs. ‘Well, just one thing,’ said Jobs. ‘Nike makes some of the best products in the world. Products that you lust after. But you also make a lot of crap. Just get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff.’ Parker said Jobs paused and Parker filled the quiet with a chuckle. But Jobs didn’t laugh. He was serious. ‘He was absolutely right,’ said Parker. ‘We had to edit.'”

Gallo writes, “According to Steve Jobs, ‘People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things.'”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple leaps over Google to become world’s most valuable brand – May 9, 2011


    1. For years I only ever bought Nikes.
      Then Nike took their eyes off the shoe, and they were only as good as what everyone else made. Nike never got worse, and no one really got better than them, but they were no longer “the best”. Haven’t bought a pair in years.

      1. Too true. You’d think with the product portfolio Google has that they are just as old as Apple. Instead, Google has tried to replicate Apple on all fronts but in doing so they have spread themselves so thin on so many projects that they all come off as unfinished. They then use their “customers” as beta testers who put up with the lack of polish and stability because they are too cheap to pay for products they use everyday. Ill take a not as open, thought-out, polished, immersive ecosystem to cheap, “open”, and manufactured by low-quality companies with no style

      1. They do occasionally get something right. The Sync system in my Ford Focus, for instance. Honestly that’s all I can think of off the top of my head though.

      1. Well, to be honest, I don’t mind SilverLight via Netflix. I think it was their 5th attempt to create video streaming technology.

        “Microsoft! We get things right the FIFTH time!” 😉

  1. I don’t like articles, books, presentations by Mr. Carmine Gallo. He has written a few books on Mr. Jobs’ presentation techniques, though appreciative, his writing limits the man in the self-help genre corner where Oraph keeps her sofa. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, just not my cup of tea.

    Check out youtube and Carmine Gallo is littering the web with promotions of his books on the back of SJ. I find it leach-like and annoying.

  2. He is absolutely correct (not that he needs my affirmation). The ability to focus a team’s attention on the key elements and develop those to a successful conclusion without going astray chasing dozens of other good and worthy objectives is the core of successful R&D. After you get the initial product perfected, you can begin to cull through those other worthy ideas/functions for the next revision.

  3. That story is old. I remember reading or hearing Steve say that years ago at some event-not necessarily about Nike, but about Apple.
    Focus meaning saying no to a lot of other stuff.
    Look at all the comPanies that focus on bombarding the market to get market share. A lot of their products are crappy and their margins are paper-thin. Know any companies like that?

  4. And then Parker took the “Just say no” line to the US Administration and Nancy Reagan jumped on the tagline for an anti-drug campaign. Now we know – like Windows, like tablets, like smartphones, the “Just say no” line was stolen from Steve Jobs! 😀

    1. Yep, they got more all right:
      More virus’
      More bluescreens
      More waiting for the computer to respond
      More spyware
      More apps that don’t work well
      More ugly products
      More bad stock prices
      More advertising stickers
      More failed products
      More bad commercials
      More lack of innovation
      More tech support costs
      More bad leadership
      More bad predictions for the future

      Got to admit, they have cornered the market on “more’s”

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