Almost eleven years ago, on October 24, 2010, Steve Jobs emailed an invitation to an exclusive meeting with 100 of the most influential employees of the apple. The content of the message resurfaced recently, after the email is considered in the ongoing process between Epic Games, creator of the game ‘Fortnite‘, and the apple company. The email is long and detailed, but the event’s agenda, called “Strategy 2011” and attributed to Jobs himself, is what stands out the most.
Emotional intelligence expert and Inc. columnist Justin Bariso analyzed each of the points highlighted by Jobs, who died in 2011. They are:
– Who are we?
– What we do?
– Post-PC era
– 2011: Holy War with Google
– 2011: Year of the Cloud
– 2015: New Campus
The first two questions show that Jobs, despite being at the top at the time and having led one of the biggest market transformations in recent times, with the launch of iPhone, I knew it would be very easy to lose that post. After all, Apple itself had gone through this in the past.
To prevent history from repeating itself, it was necessary to constantly question oneself about who the company was and what it did. One certainty was that the company would change over time, and these changes would need to be intentional, not accidental.
The following topic already showed this in practice: Apple was the first company to reach the era of mobile devices, with iPhone and iPad. At the time of sending the email, the two accounted for 66% of the company’s revenue. Thus, Jobs’ bet was on the continuous improvement of smartphones and tablets, in addition to everything that would come with it, such as apps and its own cloud computing. The conclusion, in Bariso’s view, is: “Identify what your company does well in the context of the general market. Then redouble the task of doing these things better.”
This evolution of app, calendar, and cloud integration was superior on Google’s Android, and Jobs knew it. So he predicted that Apple would need to rush to catch up with what the competitor had already done. And it goes on with what he calls “the year of the cloud”: Apple had practically invented the concept of a digital hub, but would need to focus in order to improve services and regain the market. “The bottom line is: there are lots of things you could be working on, some you should be working on, and only one thing that should be your priority,” writes Bariso.
The last topic predicted what turned out to be Apple Park, which opened in 2017 – two years later than originally planned, but had been on Jobs’s mind for years.
In other words, it is possible to translate Jobs’ directions for Apple into five practical steps for your business:
1. Be intentional
2. Identify your strengths
3. Learn from competitors
4. Focus on one big thing
5. look to the future