R.I.P. Steve Jobs. What a man of vision and accomplishment. Spend a few minutes pondering how he did it at this amazing Simon Sinek video presentation on how great leaders inspire action.
Reading some of the many tributes, what inspiration can he provide artists to build their business? Steve built Apple into a huge success, what can we learn?
The Wall St Journal has an excellent page of Steve Jobs best quotes , covering a broad range of areas. I encourage you to read them all and let me know what you think applies to your art business.
I focus here on a couple customer-related quotes here.
Talking here about computer design, Steve says: "This is what customers pay us for–to sweat all these details so it's easy and pleasant for them to use our computers. We're supposed to be really good at this. That doesn't mean we don't listen to customers, but it's hard for them to tell you what they want when they've never seen anything remotely like it. Take desktop video editing. I never got one request from someone who wanted to edit movies on his computer. Yet now that people see it, they say, 'Oh my God, that's great!'
Artists –translate this quote to your work world as: Do not expect to wow a customer by giving them what they articulate. You have to put together work that excites and pleases their senses and delivers the impact your customer seeks. Trust yourself.
Talking about lessons learned with the iPod product, Steve says: "Look at the design of a lot of consumer products - they're really complicated surfaces. We tried to make something much more holistic and simple. When you first start off trying to solve a problem, the first solutions you come up with are very complex, and most people stop there. But if you keep going, and live with the problem and peel more layers of the onion off, you can often times arrive at some very elegant and simple solutions. Most people just don't put in the time or energy to get there. We believe that customers are smart, and want objects which are well thought through."
Artists –translate this quote to your work world as: Dig deeper in creating your art, think through how you can simplify your art, or client access to its message. Try to capture the essence of what customers truly need to receive from your art. Then you will connect to them emotionally, and will have a very loyal customer. Work hard.
Do you think Steve's comments apply to your art? How?