Steve Jobs: a marriage of vision and will - the legacy of a true great

Vision as well as execution of vision is often lacking today in both business and government. Sheer will isn’t enough. But Jobs had it all. This is his legacy and we can all learn something from it.

He certainly did think differently.
Dominique Lazanski
On 6 October 2011 10:55

There is no doubt that the death of Steve Jobs is a sad day.

The company that he turned around and the legacy that he leaves will be a major part of the tech industry for years to come. But beyond that, we will all think of him when we use our iPhones, our iPads, or our MacBooks.

I had a personal experience with Apple and indirectly with Steve Jobs which I will always remember.

Back in 2004 I was hired by Apple to launch the iTunes Canada and iTunes Audiobook stores. I was not the only new hire for this product launch, but I dealt with the content, the features, and the music going on to these stores.

It was clear to me from the start that this project was something different to any other project that I had worked on before.

We were all experimenting as we launched stores which now include everything from apps to books to television shows and films. We had no idea if it would work.

But Steve Jobs had a vision.

He knew that this was the right way to go and in spite of setbacks he was going to have these iTunes stores. We struggled with rights clearances, content formats, low resolution artwork and poor quality sound, but we did make it happen. And we made it happen because Jobs was not going to accept ‘No’ for an answer.

Jobs was, in my experience, driven, determined, and often angry.

He had the final say on every aspect of the early iTunes product from the content to the look and feel. He wasn’t always (or indeed often!) a very likable person, but he knew what he wanted and was going to get it. This, to me, demonstrated what we will all remember most – that he had a vision and he was determined to see it through.

Of course we know now that it worked. But back then we didn’t know if anything would sell including new iPods or digital classical music.

It really is therefore no exaggeration to say that Jobs’ sense of purpose, determination, and vision turned Apple around.

Vision as well as execution of vision is often lacking today in both business and government. Sheer will isn’t enough. But Jobs had it all.

And he wasn’t afraid to take risks. When he came back to Apple in the late 1990s he had nothing to lose, but all to gain from taking such risks on new ideas and new products. Apple’s product line today is testament to the fact that these risks paid off.

This is the legacy of Steve Jobs and we can all learn something from it.

Dominique Lazanski spent over 10 years in the Internet industry in Silicon Valley and works for the Tax Payers' Alliance in the United Kingdom. She tweets at @dml

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