Patricia McGuire
University president

Patricia McGuire

President of Trinity Washington University.

 ALL POSTS

iRelent

Q: Not every product the Apple CEO has introduced has been a hit. So what accounts for the aura of incredible success that surrounds Steve Jobs? Why don't others who are possibly just as successful become cult figures like he has?

I want one. An iPad.

As if he knew that I have resisted iStuff for many years, Steve Jobs finally broke through my iResistance. He shone the mesmerizing light of the sleek new slate into the dim niche where I hide with my many gadgets: netbook, laptop, Blackberry, cellphone, cameras, portable DVD, mp3 player that is not an iAnything.

He knows it's not about what I need, but what I want. I will soon be another Eloi marching to the siren of the iTunes Morlock.

While critical reviews of the iPad are already mixed, and the product is not even on sale yet -- and I won't even mention the satirical sketches on that name -- Steve Jobs has already demonstrated, once again, his remarkable mastery of media and markets.

His success as an entrepreneur is built on a disciplined focus on core competencies and first principles. Apple products have long gained respect for their essential simplicity in design and ease of use, thoughtful advances in technology that teach consumers how to use new products easily, and a compelling elegance in product design.

In a Jan. 29 New York Times article , "Steve Jobs and the Economics of Elitism," the writer Steve Lohr describes Jobs' deep personal engagement with product development at Apple, and how his own aesthetic tastes become imprinted on the company's product line.

Lohr writes, "Great products, according to Mr. Jobs, are triumphs of 'taste.' And taste, he explains, is a byproduct of study, observation and being steeped in the culture of the past and present." He goes on to note that Jobs favors "tenacity, patience, belief and instinct" over product design decisions dictated by committees.

Steve Jobs's success is a result of his famously careful attention to image, his deeply intuitive understanding of consumer needs and desires in technology, and his disciplined approach to ensuring that the product lines satisfy consumer desires not just for functionality but for those all-elusive qualities of taste and elegance.

Nobody really needs an iPad. Steve Jobs knows that. But he knows that some of us will really want one.

Steve, iRelent!

By Patricia McGuire  |  February 1, 2010; 12:01 AM ET  | Category:  Aura of Success Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Not many Jobs these days | Next: A different drummer

Comments

Please report offensive comments below.



Even more important in a leader or saleman-enthusiasm

Posted by: mdpaul5381 | February 1, 2010 2:28 PM
Report Offensive Comment

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company