“He was not exactly a warm and fuzzy guy, but he got the best results out of people.” ~ Guy Kawasaki on Steve Jobs.
Last night at Facebook Success Summit 2011, Guy Kawasaki (former Chief Evangelist of Apple) spoke passionately about Steve Jobs, his former boss, friend and arguably the man who invented the world’s most enchanting products.
As the keynote speaker, Guy was scheduled to talk about Facebook Marketing. But just ten minutes before the session started at 8:00pm EST news about Steve Jobs’ death broke, and a shaken Guy Kawasaki quickly and courageously gathered his strength to honor his friend.
Here is Guy’s nostalgic recollection of his life at Apple under Steve Jobs.
Fighting the Mighty Opposite
In the 1980′s I was hired to work for Apple’s Macintosh Division as their Software Evangelist. My job was to meet with hardware and software companies and convince them to use Macintosh products.
The Macintosh Division was on a mission from Steve Jobs to prevent IBM’s domination of information technology.
The thought was that if IBM ruled the world, it would be a boring, totalitarian, ‘George Orwellian’ place – a society full of mediocrity, conformity and thought-control.
Apple was going to send the proverbial ‘ax’ into the image of ‘big brother’. It was religious fervor, in that we were fighting a mighty opposite.
A Merry Band of Pirates
The Macintosh division was a group of 50 people in a little building on Mariani Drive.
This was Steve’s division.
Someone had put up a pirate flag on top of the building, because we were going to be ‘pirates’ and not part of ‘the establishment’.
We really believed that we were going to rid the world of IBM’s totalitarianism and we worked very, very hard at it. It was Steve’s mission.
The division itself was made up of a very interesting group of people. Some of us had MBA’s and some of us didn’t. We had software and hardware engineers, artists, and people who did marketing for the division.
It was a merry band of pirates – Steve himself had only attended one semester at Reed College.
And so here we were, on paper not so qualified but nevertheless a great place to work because we were going to change freaking history. It was an euphoric experience.
And there were some really interesting things about our division: Steve had bought a grand piano for the division and some people played it at work.
He also got a BMW motorcycle exclusively for the division, and a travel policy that allowed us to fly first-class on any flight over two hours!
I lived 45 minutes from work and I figured my trip started the moment I left my apartment. So I flew first-class everywhere I went.
The Launch of Macintosh
On January 24th 1984 at De Anza College Steve Jobs unveiled the Macintosh computer. That was one of the most enchanting moments of my life.
Steve was not wearing a black turtle neck – back then his thing was a double-breasted suit and a bow tie.
The first time I saw a Macintosh computer I was an Apple 2 user. It was a religious experience.
Even with Apple 2, I was fortunate to have a 24 x 8 terminal screen. We used to move the cursor around with cursor keys and graphics were done by using ‘x’s and ‘o’s to draw up things.
In contrast the Macintosh had multiple fonts, sizes and styles. It had integration of text and graphics as well as paint brush graphics – it was a magical experience.
The launch was very successful and our goal, which was to sell a quarter million Mac’s in the first 100 days, was achieved.
The death and resurrection of Apple
We pitched the Macintosh fervently. It appealed to developers because of the rich, interesting yet challenging programming environment that it offered.
But after some time, the euphoria began to die down. Businesses were rejecting the Mac because it didn’t have some of the crucial pieces of software that they were looking for.
Things started to look really bad and there was talk about the death of Apple. Steve Jobs was fired and replaced by John Sculley. He quickly moved on and started a company called NeXT.
Meanwhile things didn’t pick up at Apple for a while until Steve came back some years later when Apple bought NeXT for 400 million dollars.
At first he was on an advisory role but when he introduced the iMac, well…the rest is history.
The iMac (if you remember) was a tier-shaped looking computer produced in different colors. It was this product that re-kindled people’s enthusiasm for Macintosh and from there, other revolutionary products such as the iPad, iPod, iPhone were born.
Steve the Man
Steve Jobs was the greatest influence in my life.
From him I learned an appreciation for design, an appreciation for elegance and simplicity. I learned how far you can push people with challenges and still get the best work out of them.
You know Steve was not exactly a warm and fuzzy kind of guy but he got the best results out of people.
He could drive you crazy because the trash can icon didn’t look right, or a certain shade of black wasn’t black enough (Steve was heavily influenced by Paul Rand the logo designer).
But what a time that was. I consider it an honor to have worked for him in the Macintosh division.
Whatever you think of Apple, you have to admit it was among the pioneers of the personal computer industry. Most companies are fortunate to create one revolution in their lifetime, but Steve created 4 or 5 revolutions.
And for all people around the world who use Apple products, Steve has brought joy and enchantment into our lives.
May he rest in peace.
Forget Google Rank: Do it Because You Enjoy it
It occurred to me as I was exercising this morning, that many of us do what we do for the wrong reasons.
Some of those ‘wrong’ reasons might be; to be better than someone else; to gain recognition; to become the ‘go-to’ person and so on.
The problem with that is there are a ton of laborious rules, strenuous ‘best practices’ and unyielding standards that come with that territory.
If you read Joe Pulizzi’s 42 Content Marketing Commandments you might recall #35, which is: “There are no shortcuts to great content marketing; it takes a lot of elbow grease”.
Isn’t that the truth.
Frequent blogging, SEO ‘best practices’, copywriting principles, Facebook rules of engagement, and so on. After a while it get’s to be very laborious. And excessive, unbalanced labor takes the enjoyment out of your work.
So here’s an alternative approach.
What if you pursued enjoyment instead of Google Rank? What if you killed your obsession with SEO, or your Klout score or your Facebook Edgerank?
Why don’t you start enjoying what you do and let the chips fall where they may?
What do you think? Is it that simple or am I missing something here? Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.
6 Things Successful Bloggers Do Differently
Why are some bloggers so successful at what they do, and not others?
I’m sure you think about that from time to time – and you’re not alone.
In the last one year I’ve had the pleasure of rubbing shoulders with some wildly successful and some not-so successful bloggers.
From what I can see, the difference between the mighty and the mediocre doesn’t appear to be talent. Perhaps this might play a small role, but I think it has more to do with the way they think, and the way they do certain things.
They seem to have the mindset of ‘Go big or go home’.
If they’re going to write a book, start a blog or do a presentation, their goal is to lead, to outshine the competition and to exceed everyone’s expectations.
It’s not that they’re naive about the amount of work that’s needed. They’re not intimidated by that. They dream big anyway and do whatever it takes to achieve those dreams.
Seize the Moment
Successful bloggers seize the moment to act on their goals TODAY!
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by hectic schedules, plans, obligations and even family. But thinking about it all at once is unhelpful and unproductive.
Achieving your goals means knowing what you need to do today and actually doing it. Were you supposed to run five miles this morning? Did you skip it because you overslept when the alarm didn’t go off?
If you don’t do what you’re supposed to do each day, you’ll probably never achieve that big goal that you set out to achieve. It’s as simple as that I’m afraid.
Are realistically optimistic
The more ambitious your goals the harder they are to achieve.
Success requires long hours at work, time away from family, less sleep, mental discipline and many bumps on the road. While successful bloggers don’t underestimate how tough it will be to achieve their goals, they do not doubt their own ability either.
They’re motivated, energetic, and positive in their outlook. I’ve also noticed that successful bloggers surround themselves with other positive people who encourage, inspire and help them out when they need it.
Willpower is self-control.
It’s doing the right thing when you’d rather not, and not giving in when you’re tempted to. Successful bloggers know what they need to do to make success happen.
They keep an editorial calendar (blog plan), and they follow it meticulously. They make no excuses, and they take responsibility for their work. When it’s ten o’clock at night and tomorrow’s blog isn’t written, they don’t go to bed. They brew a strong cup of coffee, and get to work.
They embrace technology, learn new skills and get better each day.
Successful bloggers aren’t ‘know-it-all’s’.
They understand that being a good writer doesn’t mean they’re good at everything. They make it a habit to listen to others who have more experience, and those that are better than them at other things.
Not only do they learn faster when they listen well, but they also grow in their own wisdom and experience, which further increases their chances of more success.
Finally, successful bloggers remember their humble beginnings.
They understand that they didn’t get where they are on their own and they resist the temptation to be arrogant and aloof.
This keeps them grateful and willing to help others as well. Successful bloggers also understand that success is fleeting, and so they carry themselves with grace and a certain level of humility.
What about you? Do you realize that you have more control over your blogging success than you think? I hope you’re able to see some of the mistakes that have held you back in the past.
More importantly, I hope you’re able to think and do things differently from now on.
Should Content Marketers Go on Vacation?
Ask yourself this question: As a content marketer, is there a connection between vacation and creativity…between vacation and clarity of thought?
I think so.
As I write this, I’m preparing to head up north to Ithaca for a much needed summer break. But I’m worried about my blog. You see I’m the sole content creator here in my little world.
Who will write my blog when I’m gone? Should I stack up several blog posts and automatically schedule them over the next two weeks? Or should I just give my blog some breathing space?
The Vacation Narrative
The idea behind vacation is that everyone needs time to slow down, to refresh and re-energize. This is especially true for bloggers and content marketers.
Time away from the computer screen allows you to acquire different experiences, to stimulate your imagination, and to support new ideas. To put it simply, vacation time is extremely beneficial to your content marketing efforts.
Who will feed the sheep?
Let’s agree on one thing. In content marketing there is no such thing as a ‘slow season‘.
Even when clients and customers are away and your staff takes the opportunity to go on vacation themselves, the blog must still be fed and your social media networks cannot be ignored. Someone has to tend to your audience because they still expect to hear from you.
If the person in charge of content marketing takes off, they better make sure that there is continuity.
Content, consistency and contingency plans
Consistency is one of the most crucial elements of content marketing.
If we’re constantly urging our clients to be consistent with their content marketing efforts, we better be seen to be doing the same. Content marketers do not have the luxury of letting their content go while they’re gone on vacation.
And so a lot of planning and preparation is needed before you decide to hit the beach (or the mountains!).
That might mean that you make arrangements with a guest blogger, or that you accumulate several articles before you leave. And if the worst comes to the worst, be prepared to multi-task while you’re sun-bathing in Ocean City. But I just don’t think that your content marketing should miss a beat. (Sorry – that’s just me!).
It’s true: planning to take a vacation can cause anxiety (especially if you’re American or Japanese – Europeans, not so much!). But with some forethought and planning, a break can be a really good thing. Heck you might even conceive an idea for a book!
Over to you
What do you think? What can content marketers do to ensure continuity while they’re on vacation? Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.
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