Steve Jobs' plan to turn around Apple


Steve Jobs gave this talk a few weeks after returning to Apple.

  • I’ve been back at Apple for 8 to 10 weeks. What we are trying to do is not something highfalutin. We are trying to get back to the basics. We are tying to get back to great products, great marketing, and great distribution. [0:30]

  • I think Apple has pockets of greatness but has drifted away from doing the basics really well. [0:56]

  • We started with the product line. We said a lot of this doesn’t make sense. There was way too much stuff. There was not enough focus. We got rid of 70% of the stuff on the product road map. [1:05]

  • You will see the product line get much simpler. And you will see it get much better. We have been able to focus a lot more on the gems. [1:25]

  • We have not kept up with innovations in our distribution. . .We will not only catch up where the best of the best are in distribution, but we will be innovating and breaking new ground in distribution. [2:15]

  • To me, marketing is about values. The world is complicated. It is noisy. We are not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is. So we have to be really clear about what we want them to know about us. [3:30]

  • The way to do that is not to talk about speeds and feeds. It is not to talk about why we are better than Windows. The dairy industry tried for 20 years to convince you milk was good for you. Sales kept going down. Then they tried “Got Milk?” and sales shot up. Got Milk doesn’t even talk about the product. In fact it is about the absence of the product. [4:45]

  • The best example of all. . .one of the greatest jobs at marketing the universe has ever seen is Nike. Remember Nike sells a commodity. They sell shoes! Yet when you think of Nike you feel something different than just a shoe company. In their ads they never talk about the products. They never tell you about their air soles and why the are better than Reebok’s air soles. What does Nike do in their advertising? They honor great athletes and they honor great athletics. That is who they are. That is what they are about. [5:02]

  • Our customers want to know who is Apple and what do we stand for. What we are about isn’t making boxes for people to get their jobs done. Although we do that well. Apple is about something more than that. Apple’s core value is we believe people with passion can change the world for the better. [6:15]

  • The ad campaign is called Think Different. It is honoring the people who think different and who move this world forward. It is what we are about. It touches the soul of this company. [Side note: The membership program for my podcast Founders is called Misfits. I stole that idea from the Think Different ad.] [8:55]

  • We have got to let people know who Apple is. And why it is still relevant in this world. [10:40]

  • This company is absolutely going to turn around. The question is not can we turn around Apple. It is can we make Apple really great again? [15:30]

  • Full video here.