1. Form is as important as function.
2. Corporate presentations do not have to be boring, or text-heavy, or generic. Presentations are performances; they should be important, heady, image-based, funny, and idealistic. Steve Jobs made corporate presentations into events.
3. Good, visionary people are critical and irreplaceable. Anyone can do a job, but a true leader and visionary will create followers, evangelists, loyal employees, and create an environment that incubates good ideas. People come to trust and respect and even love a good leader. And when they leave, every decision of their successor is judged (often negatively) in contrast.
5. Sometimes losing everything is the best thing that can happen to you. When Steve Jobs was fired from Apple, it opened him up creatively to found NeXT. NeXT was an example of great, innovative ideas without a strong brand or trusting consumers. Imagine what you could do if you had all three?
6. Some people hate Apple, and it is mostly based on how much other people love Apple. Apple products engender strong feelings, one way or the other. Any company can do this, though. It just requires that you take a chance upsetting some people and focus on what you love. The evangelists will find you, and they will make your sales for you.
7. In my experience, incredible leaders have often been uncompromising, reportedly difficult to work for, and perfectionists. They demand better from their employees. Incredible leaders have personality flaws, but who can argue with their results? It's almost like genius requires a certain baseline level of insanity.
8. Apple is not known for being the most socially or environmentally responsible company. That being said, nobody loves Apple products more than us urban, left-of-centre, arts-loving elitists. That's the power of good marketing; we won't eat at McDonald's, but we love our iPods.
9. Technology is always changing and we are always adapting. It might be difficult to adapt, especially as you get older, but the less you are willing to change, the less you will be able to communicate with and understand younger generations. The iPhone and iPad created fundamental social shifts. So did Facebook, Twitter, blogging, the Internet, modern medicine, safe abortion procedures, airplanes....
10. People talk a lot about innovation and vision. Everybody's new product/album/book/condo is supposedly innovative and new and exciting and uncompromising! Except that they aren't. Steve Jobs was a true genius, and did not compromise his vision. He dragged us kicking and screaming into the future, and changed the way we live and communicate. Love him or hate him, Steve Jobs never compromised or watered down his ideas because he was worried about perception or risk. Steve Jobs was a game-changer.
Josh blogs about the many things he has learned and continues to learn at tenthingsivelearned.com.