What Steve Jobs Knew About Philosophy, Business and Life

I wasn’t going to write a Steve Jobs post, but here we are.

Between Friday and today, adWeek has published two really insightful posts about Apple’s philosophy, approach to business and the marketing of that business. I’d just like to pull a key pieces for all the agency folks and entrepreneurs out there to keep in mind.

First, Jobs knew that the best way to move culture forward was to create superior products. Not just products that seemed superior, or undercut the competitor on price, but products that allowed (and continue to allow) us to be the people we aspire to be.  That was the truth that Apple sold and it’s the reason you continue to purchase from them.

In short, their unmatched beauty and performance gives you the freedom to become that next greatest version of yourself.  Make no mistake, you aren’t really buying a tablet, you’re buying an unwavering philosophy built on the premise that you have the ability to forge your own path, creating new wonders for the world at large.  You aren’t buying technology, you’re buying a way of living.  Few publicly traded companies could say this about their products.

So, that’s today’s post in a nutshell, with a bit of my personal take, but what about the agency relationship between Jobs and Lee Clow (Creative Director of TBWA)?

The post on Friday, which maybe should have come second, includes a paraphrase from Jobs about Lee Clow’s strength as a Creative Driector:

Clow’s fundamental strength was that he “looks at Apple from his heart,” Jobs said, “and this gives him the ability to see us as we should be, to see us as we have trouble seeing ourselves sometimes. And to remind us who we are when we are tempted by compromise or shortcuts.

I love this as I think it encapsulates the best of what our industry can deliver it’s clients. In this rapidly evolving world, rife with more technology and communication points than we can possibly ever use, it’s never been more important to serve clients as a guiding light that keeps them laser focused on who they are and what they stand for.  Designing campaigns around the best of what our clients can be (or have been) will yield far greater results than planting ourselves firmly in reality.

Here’s to you, Steve (cheesy, dated photo omitted)!



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