Jobs’ brainPosted: October 21, 2008
Yes I’m still alive. Just haven’t been much in a blogging mode. But this YouTube piece on Jobs caught my eye. Over the past year or so, Jobs has gotten a lot of praise for his brilliance as a marketer. I’ve never liked that description of him. Yes, he is great at marketing. But where I think he really excels as a strategist.
In this YouTube video, you’ll see how Job’s brain works. The video is really an internal training piece for NeXT. So, it reveals a lot more details about his thinking than one would usually see in a keynote. But if you watch closely, you’ll see how he takes a very abstract and complex marketplace, the workstation market, and tries to simplify it and turn into easily identifiable segments. From this simplification, he is able to plot a strategy and communicate it to others in a very understandable way. As you watch the piece, compare his breakdown of the workstation market to how he breaks down the consumer and pro market for Apple products. It’s very similar and most importantly, simple. MacBook Pro/MacBook. iPod/iPod Nano. Pro Tower/iMac.
In my opinion, Jobs’ brilliance is not in making us lust to buy something. Though he has great aesthetic sense. His real ability is at taking a 10,000 ft level perspective of a market, breaking into a few basic segments and then targeting those segments with simple and straight forward products.
Oh, and hindsight being 20/20, his strategy was wrong in his presentation. He should have focused on bringing workstations to the masses. His real competitor was Microsoft not Sun. This would have meant a big price cut on NeXT boxes. That many have not been feasible at the time. But it was the only way they could have won big. IMO.