googlead166c37c697d4d3.html Glenn Ashton Author Blog: The Genius of Steve Jobs: He gave us Empowerment, a Sense of Belonging, and Bragging Rights

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Genius of Steve Jobs: He gave us Empowerment, a Sense of Belonging, and Bragging Rights

Steve Jobs made business personal: personal between you, his company, Apple, and him. This triangle of personal links he brought about was a quantum shift in business models. Very few to date have been able to copy this model; in future, more and more leaders will be expected to use the Jobs' model, or be bumped aside.

And this personal element in his business model encompassed three very important needs that he satisfied in his tens of millions of customers.

He gave us personal Empowerment:

The first and most powerful was that he gave each one of us Empowerment. An Apple product wasn't just a product. It was far, far more. When the history of 2011 is written, the revolutions taking place (the Arab Spring, the Occupy Movement, the soon-to-come China Spring) will be seen to have been based on the power given ordinary people by Apple products. The power to break out of the control of communications by the powerful; the power to organize speedily and in a targeted fashion. The power to use the most modern developments of the technological revolution in our daily lives, without any problems in doing so, and with scarcely a thought as to how we could do so.

He gave us a Sense of Belonging:

This was a stunning breakthrough for a business leader. Steve Jobs managed to make you feel that you were one of the Apple family. In fact, in many ways Jobs was the first leader to form a transnational, international gang  - the Apple Gang – with tens of millions of active members.

You don't believe there is an Apple Gang? With its own colors and other identification marks? Then speak to someone who has an Apple.

And think a bit about how Steve Jobs himself was the toughest dude on the block, and how the Apple Gang products kicked some serious butt, day after day after day, wiping out billions of value of those competitiors who dared to fight them.

He gave us Bragging Rights:

Steven Jobs made it cool to own an Apple product.

And the more recently the product had been launched, the cooler it was. The products were so simple that each owner – no matter his or her economic or educational level – could work them, and do it with a flourish.

Apple owners love their accessories – their iPads and iPhones and other gizmos. They dote upon them. They show them to their family, to friends, to strangers, as part of their dating rituals.

Each swipe of an owner's finger across the face of an Apple product is a message to the world: Look at this wonderful piece of machinery that I have. And look how easily it obeys my every wish. I am master of this machine; I am master of this technology.

I am someone to be reckoned with.

How many other leaders – in any fields – have been able to meet three such significant needs of their followers?

Name one.

You can't.

Because Steve Jobs broke the mould of the old, plodding, narrow business models we all knew before Apple, and thrust us into a newer universe.

Thank you, Steve.


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