Entrepreneurship seems to have shaped the global economy although the art of doing business in the 21st century is gradually changing for the realignment with emerging technological discoveries. Ordinarily, the philosophy of entrepreneurship can be explained as a mindset that drives an entrepreneur towards finding profitable innovative solutions to problems facing mankind in the universe. It is believed that success in entrepreneurship is determined by an individual’s ability to identify problems and develop creative solutions before somebody else does it. However, successful entrepreneurs exhibit habitual creativity in exploiting existing opportunities around them. In reality, personality, experiences and availability of economic opportunities are the principal determinants of entrepreneurial success. Historically, there are numerous entrepreneurs who emerged successful in their time over the time since the inception of trade. In the early days, most successful entrepreneurs amassed vast treasures of wealth to establish empires, especially during the golden age although entrepreneurship was not as challenging as it is today. Nevertheless, the modern world has produced prominent entrepreneurs whose innovations have become some of the significant drivers of globalization. Steve Jobs is one of such innovative entrepreneurs. His way of doing business reflected a magnificent integration of his personality. Therefore, this paper explains why Steve Jobs was successful as an entrepreneur.
Steve Jobs at Apple
Steve Jobs was the co-founder of Apple that drove the transformation of digital publishing, mobile phone technology and music. In addition, Apple advanced personal and tablet computing to an advanced level owing to Steve Jobs technological innovations and entrepreneurial skills. This is probably the reason as to why Isaacson (2012) remarks that Steve Jobs “belongs in the pantheon of America’s great innovators, along with Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Walt Disney.” He adds “none of these men was a saint, but long after their personalities are forgotten, history will remember how they applied imagination to technology and business” (par. 1). Steve Jobs went through a turbulent moment after founding Apple in 1976 which enabled him to acquire some useful traits in entrepreneurship. For instance, his ousting in 1985 seemed to put his brilliant entrepreneurial focus to an end, but his return to the company in 1997, when Apple was wading towards the shores of bankruptcy, enabled it to gain an international reputation.
Steve Jobs success in the entrepreneurial world is attributable to his personality that enabled him to thrive in diverse business environments. One of the most significant personal traits that appear to have been one of his eternal verities of life was his focus. Despite the challenges he faced during his early years when he worked at his parent’s garage, and even after establishing Apple Company, Jobs maintained his focus at all times. Jobs focus nature formed an integral part of his personality, and this aspect can be explained by the changes he made upon returning to Apple in 1997. Jobs returned to Apple when it had increased its products to include peripherals and computers, although it was still experiencing economic challenges which threatened its progress. At first, Jobs turned the company’s focus on to four computer brands and discarded all the other product designs that had been planned by Apple.
Shortly after returning to Apple, Jobs reviewed the company’s production strategies and noticed that it lacked the required focus to produce profitable products that would enable it to attain a competitive edge in the digital technology market. His remarks tell it all about his focus; “stop! This is crazy. Here is what we need, desktop and portable computers,” he exclaimed with engendered focus. In addition, Jobs established an efficient way of decision making on the desired products in the company where he could ask his team members to list of things to be done in which he narrowed down to just a few tasks; instead of doing many things at once. It is believed that, this rear version of focus is what enabled him to reduce the number of Apple products from 350 to 10 within his first two years after returning to the company in 1997 (Isaacson, 2012). He simply knew the art of saying no to a thousand things and choosing the best; an aspect, which not only, defined his focus, but also explained his perfectionism. Indeed, Steve Jobs orientation to his entrepreneurial goals contributed significantly to his success (Kotelnikov, n.d.).
The second amazing personal trait of Jobs was his communication skills. He always mastered his message to ensure that his team members understood his ideas. In his communication, Jobs could educate, entertain, inform and inspire his audience, and this made him the world’s renowned corporate storyteller (Gallo, 2011).
Moreover, Jobs exhibited extensive passion and confidence in all his life endeavors, primarily in entrepreneurship. His passionate nature can be explained by the fact that he always enjoyed every aspect of leadership at Apple. Besides, he always influenced his customers’ purchasing attitude by explaining all the reasons why they needed Apple’s products. This aspect is believed to have earned the company immense popularity leading to its rapid growth. It is argued that Jobs personality as an entrepreneur was more of a salesperson than a corporate executive (Himmel, 2013). In other words, Jobs believed being passionate in his career was all he needed to be successful, and his remarks “people with passion can change the world for the better,” provide evidence of his passionate personality.
Steve Jobs was also successful because of his innovative ability that enabled him to design perfect products, which attracted immense market demand from consumers. In fact, Apple’s rapid growth and development during Jobs stewardship is attributable to the innovativeness of its products and services. From his innovative ability, Jobs enable the company to produce interactive designs, which gained unprecedented preference in the market and earned the company a competitive advantage.
He also possessed unbelievable imagination that enabled him to understand his customers’ needs. For instance, his design for the tablets excluded elements of complexity to enhance the user’s application of his devices. iPad is one of the most interesting designs which shows his amazing imagination in interactive designs because it comprised of a single button on the front face. Therefore, most customers preferred his product because of its reliable applicability. In the case of iPad, he used a simplified design that can be used by a 2-year old child (Gallo, 2011).
On the other hand, Steve Jobs capitalized on his experiences in the entrepreneurial world to win his competitors in the digital technology market. He had experienced enormous challenges in entrepreneurship which he considered useful for success in his entire life. For instance, he returned to Apple with great passion and focus despite the challenges he had faced in the company in 1980s. He believed that life experiences enable people to solve problems more efficiently than those who have little experiences. From his experiences in India and Asia where he studied hospitality and design, in addition to calligraphy, Jobs could connect ideas from these fields to understand the market, as well as, adding intuition to his designs.
However, it is worth noting that Steve Jobs success in entrepreneurship was enhanced by the economic opportunities of the time. His innovative designs suited the needs of the 21st century generation which embraces digital technology in virtually all aspects of life in the universe. For instance, his innovative idea of the Apple Stores came at a time when customer-service experience encountered several drawbacks. Customers showed different experiences in Apple Stores which enabled them to develop emotional connections with Apple brands. As such, he more of enriched the lives of his customers than just offering them new brands, and this is believed to be the magic behind the popularity of Apple products and services.
Conclusively, Steve Jobs personality and life experiences spurred him to great heights in the entrepreneurial world. His innovative ideas and focus enabled Apple Company to enter into the category of the world’s most valuable companies. However, his success is attributable to the vast economic opportunities which emerged during his career although his imagination ability could make him stand atop in different economic opportunities because he possessed the ideal traits of a successful entrepreneur. Some of his personal traits that enabled him to achieve success in his career were focus, passion and his exceptional imagination. Besides, his communication skills were amazing because he could entertain, inform and inspire his audience at the same time.
Gallo, C. (2011). The Innovators: Steve Jobs and the Seven Rules of Success. Retrieved from http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/220515
Himmel, R. (2013). What Personality Traits Made Steve Jobs Successful? Retrieved from http://www.entrepreneur.com/answer/226410
Isaacson, W. (2011). Steve Jobs. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
Isaacson, W. (2012). The Real Leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs. Retrieved from http://hbr.org/2012/04/the-real-leadership-lessons-of-steve-jobs/
Kotelnikov, V. (n.d.). Corporate Leadership: Steve Jobs' 12 Rules of Success. Retrieved from http://www.1000advices.com/guru/leader_corporate_12_success_rules_sj.html