A lot of people have said a lot of great things about Steve Jobs. And for good reason: he built the world’s second-most valuable company, with billions in profits and products that have improved every aspect of our lives. But Steve didn’t get there by being a soft, fluffy, Kumbaya-type leader. I know — I negotiated with him and believe me, he was absolutely relentless. He got there by living and breathing some fundamental, universal business truths. So in Steve’s honour and in his memory, here are five of the cold, hard business lessons that we can all learn him.
Never Lose Sight of the Value of a Dollar
As successful as he was, Steve never lost sight of the value of a dollar. I learned this first-hand when I was running The Learning Company, which at that time was the global leader in educational software. Steve wanted to launch Macs in schools using our software. Apple only had a small share of the market and it cost us over $50 million to develop the software he wanted. There was no way we would create the software on our own dime.
We thought we could share that cost with Apple, since Apple would benefit from having our titles. But did Steve budge? Not a chance. He stubbornly refused to give me a cent and insulted me for daring to ask for his money. He was so adamant about watching his company’s cash that he kept yelling profanities, even in the parking lot as I was getting into my car to leave. Money, after all, is the result of hours of painstakingly difficult effort. Giving it away should never be easy — and for Steve, it never was. (That being said, I have always said that Apple should pay dividends — but that’s for another day.)
Read the entire post at The Huffington Post here.