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Forum Post: What Steve Jobs Taught Me

Posted 12 years ago on Oct. 25, 2011, 4:22 p.m. EST by halsey (0)
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In 1998 I was asked to speak at Mac World. It marked the first time Steve Jobs had returned to his company and would speak at the famous Mac World event.

What I didn't know when invited was that I was scheduled to speak immediately after Mr. Jobs. I, like everyone else in the audience, sat mesmerized as he stepped comfortably back into his old shoes and articulated a simple plan for reforming Apple Computer. Things were so bad at the company at that moment Michael Dell famously quipped 'Steve should shut down the company and give the money back to stock holders.' Michael later regretted the statement when Apple’s market value sky rocketed past his own company’s.

Nobody really believed Apple could be saved, and even though I was speaking at Mac World I was not so sure myself. As I sat in the audience watching Steve while he gave a presentation that had just 10 slides and just 10 words, 1 per slide. There were slides like "Product" and "Marketing". Here was a hairball of a company going out of business and Steve reduced the plan and message to words that anyone and everyone who sat in that audience understood. When he finished he asked the audience if they would like to see the new ad campaign which turned out to be his wonderful “Think Different” campaign featuring Mother Theresa, Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, and so many other great men and women who have contributed to and shaped the world we live in today. The audience rose to their feet and cheered, myself included. Apple was alive again. Then it was my turn to speak. All I can say is being invited to follow a Steve Job's speech, particularly his return speech, is as close as you can get to being psychologically stoned by a crowd.

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