Steve Jobs always focused his team on building great products first. He knew if what Apple made was fabulous, then they would always have big sellers on their hands. It was all about the product design for Steve, and then a dedication to shipping. Great artists ship. There was no compromising on building great products, even for its internal components. There were no shortcuts. Apple designers are always pushing out the boundaries of what is possible in merging design with engineering. That’s one of the reasons why their output is so wonderful. They’re always pushing, always testing, always questioning, always eliminating. They are building beyond what’s currently known as possible. That should inspire just about anyone.
It is fair to say that Jobs nailed it. Focus relentlessly on making a great product. Great products have market durability as well as product durability. They become their own best marketing. People love showing off great products they buy, and love discussing them with others. And if you can make it so great, so consistently, that people turn it into a cult like following, you’ve truly done something remarkable.
Let’s discuss the product pitch. Apple has been doing this extraordinarily well for years. Everyone knows that Jobs was the master pitchman when it came time to talking about new product releases. However, Jobs’ team got some great early experience in not only watching him perform, but also doing some of the show themselves. Apple does an excellent job of having division heads pitch their own wares, from hardware to software to services. They’re all polished, poised, and ready. Note that they’re not perfect. Some people would like to argue that they are, but they’re not. They just have tons of experience speaking in front of large groups and in high pressure situations. Even the so-called introverts among them have to get up and present. They may even hate this, but it is what’s required to be of service. Few people like to get up in front of a crowd and speak. Those that do stand out. Also note how well the Apple executives take complex things and make them simple. They’ll even assign their own names to complex terminology to simplify it. Master communicators make the complex simple for others. Jobs did this and the Apple executives continue this tradition.
People will see the Apple events and think, “Well, I’m not Apple. I’m not those guys. I don’t sell their products. I’m just trying to get my point across that my product’s great.” Great. What can you take away from the Apple pitches and work into your presentation? Make the complex simple? Yes. Use a friendly tone? Yes. Focus on what’s in it for the customer? Yes. Be excited about what you’re talking about? Yes. Do a live demo that Wows them? Yes. If you can, offer them a free trial or a sample to start? Yes. None of these qualities are out of reach of anyone presenting or pitching today. They can all be included. These masters leave clues in their presentations, and it isn’t just the fabulous products. No matter how great the product is, it still needs a human being to pitch it and explain it simply yet thoroughly. And that person is you. The Apple product pitches are designed to inspire. They showcase what’s possible when marketing is brilliantly executed. It is always preferable to learn from the best. Take a few of their qualities and start integrating them into your pitches. You’ll find the reception well received.
Imagine creating something that people absolutely love. What does it look like? What does it feel like? How successful do you feel because of it? Like you’re knocking the cover off of the ball? Creating something that people love is one of the best, most fulfilling human accomplishments. We have our vision, our grand design, of what something might be and we built it to fruition. We saw it through. Yes, it was hard. Yes, there were difficulties. And yet we pushed it through into reality. We led. We get the double-victory: we’ve built our grand vision and we created something people love. It is akin to the true definition of an artist: Bringing visions into reality.