Posted on: October 10, 2011

Five Business Lessons From Steve Jobs

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.

  • Aureliusholdings

    What about “Never lose sight of your health?”

    • Mcd07077

      We will all die….face it! If you care more about health and preaching it become a trainer or a dietician and let it make you rich.

      • Robidoo

        I thinks you misunderstood the comment. Money to the detriment of health was the point.

  • JD

    lmao asshole comment of the day by Aureliusholdings

    • Aureliusholdings

      Brilliant counter argument JD.  So anyway, my point is what is money without health?  Ideally you got both 🙂  Awesome day, my friend.

      • Mcd07077

        Money is still money, I think?! Right?!



        OH YEAH,


        • Guest

          Death is the greediest thing of all.  It devours and destroys everyone eventually.

  • Peacedom

    I heard (news show) jobs tossed his last $15 in the ocean when he and his girl just received a parking ticket. 

  • Aaron

    Mr.O’Leary has much to learn about success. I know for the most part its just a act. Humility & Humbleness go long way. 

    Remember there always bigger fish in the ocean. GodBless  

    • Mcd07077

      I did not know that…Where can I buy your book on how to become more successful than a Billionaire? I think it will be a good read for a giggle.

  • Ron

    Do you think drugs affected any of his insights?

    • Mcd07077

      REALLY?! Does it matter? Have you heard of Apple or Steve Jobs?

  • we can all learn him…..Is from missing or is it a reflect read. ( This is the end of the story above )

  • Nic Rupert

    There will always be more software guys than hardware guys. Software is the consumable commodity. In that scenario… as a software guy, you did not have the upper hand on the negotiation. You needed him more than he needed you; your software would benefit from being on his systems more than he would benefit from having it there — he could just use someone else’s educational software or develop his own… yet you were asking him for money? I will say it’s worth asking for, sure, but you didn’t really think you’d get it did you… I wonder if ethanol producers had the guts to go to GM and Ford and asked if they would pay them to develop it ethanol. No they already had a fine alternative called gasoline. That’s the lesson… know who has the upper hand before you even start to negotiate for money – negotiating relentlessly should be a given. Thanks for the clip to read.

  • LFC3434

    MCD, O’Leary is not a billionaire. Just cause it says he sold his company for 4 billion does not mean he is a billionaire. I also agree with Aaron. Obviously, money is very important in life since it is “what makes the world go round.” But in saying that, humility and humbleness do go a long way. I find that quality characteristics go a long way and a lot farther than money. And in the end, those characteristics will make you a lot of money. Kevin O’leary is worth a few hundred million but compared to Bill Gates and Warren Buffett he’s worth nothing. Both Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have incredible personal characteristics and morals. I think Kevin has lost sight of whats really important and if you watch some of his shows, he’s not the happiest person.

  • John

    you spend your health to get wealthy, then you spend your wealth to get healthy

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