Much has been written about the late Steve Jobs’ relentless focus on creating few but stunning products. Anecdotes recounting his work style and advises are now part of the urban legend, moving way beyond the tech world. One such story that summarizes Jobs’ stunning success comes to us from Nike CEO, Mark Parker.
In a 2010 interview, given to Fast Company, Parker talked about receiving a call from Steve Jobs, shortly after taking over as Nike’s CEO.
During the conversation, Parker asked Jobs if he had any advice. Jobs said:
“Nike makes some of the best product in the world. Product that you lust after. Absolutely beautiful, stunning product, but you also make a lot of crap. Just get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff.”
That advice was given in 2006. Much before the iPhones and the iPads hit the market.
Focusing religiously on what really matters, and getting rid of every other irrelevant idea is what leads to great product designs and effective communications. Something that distinguishes great companies, from others.
According to Steve Jobs, “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things.”