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What This Billion Dollar Company Did Right

Apple, a company with an enormous market share in the smartphone sector has an awfully odd way of doing things, but has somehow managed to make it work. Perhaps one of the most commonly seen brands in the world right now used to be on the brink of collapse. More than two decades ago, Apple was looming over bankruptcy after failing to go against companies like Dell and Microsoft and ended up making some hard-decisions just to survive. Fast forward, its decisions were perhaps right ones, no matter how tough then it was to make. Hindsight is however 20/20 because business decisions are volatile and uncertain, but the management style has been replicated by various companies all around and it has offered impressive results.

Talk less

A fundamental aspect of Apple’s products is in its idea of simplicity. The design and functions of the phone has been made in a way where it is perhaps the simplest way to get things done. Unlike its android counterpart which offers a myriad of options, the Apple operating system is the complete opposite, where customisation is perhaps limited only to jailbroken devices or simple wallpapers and application folders. Yet, it seems that consumers aren’t wow-ed by the aggressive ability of customisation but lean towards the simplest way of getting things done. I mean, why overcomplicate things? This simplistic outlook is not only restricted to its products, but in terms of its management style. Several staff in Apple have often spoke about Steve Job’s desire for simplicity, which is something that people have coined the “Simple Stick”, and is a tool that Jobs uses very often in dealing with anything within the company. A core philosophy of Apple, the Simple Stick is often used in, well, making complicated things simpler. When people come up with an elaborate plan to do a simple thing, Jobs will often “hit” it with the Simple Stick to simplify it.

Talk right

The Simple Stick is not just something that can be implemented overnight. Jobs had a reputation for being tough to deal with, and awards were even given out to people who had been able to “spar” with him in his office. The war on words was extended to the realm of defending an idea or simply giving a new one. Anything that involved complicated things was pure hubris to Apple. It does make you wonder why people were willing to go against their boss — the person who controls their paycheck and advancement. The reason is simple: Culture.

Jobs had implemented this open-door policy where people could voice out what they wanted so long as they truly believed in it. Jobs admired the fearless individuals who could do that. If he wanted a team of smart yes-men, he could have his pick, but it seems that the composition of his team was more than just Ivy-League colleges stacked together, but a nice composition of different personalities that were “Fearless”. If you worked in Apple and you had a brilliant idea to share, all you had to do was open your mouth, but make sure the idea was as simplified as they come, and is not convoluted.

Implementation of this idea is of the same ideology. Keep your statement simple and straight to the point. Making it overly complicated loses the person you are dealing with and may often confuse the individual. It is important that if you truly believed in the idea, it is worth mentioning it on more than one occasion. In addition, being rejected may sometimes also mean that more can be done. Perhaps the idea does not fit the client or companies’ philosophy and has to be tapered to be more feasible. A common occurrence and is not something to fret about. After all, Jobs sometimes rejected ideas on their first try.


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