I recently finished reading the Steve Job’s biography by Walter Isaacson and was blown away. I have read two other biographies by Isaacson over the years, Einstein and Benjamin Franklin - both were great. But this book surpassed both of those books. Why? Steve Jobs was a fascinating individual who many have called the Edison of our time. He is utterly influential and will continue to be long past his time here on earth. I think you could make the same argument for Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin, so Isaacson seems to be on to something with his writing choices.
In the book Steve Jobs has influenced me with his thinking and how he did business. He never went to business school, he never even finished college. He went to college for a while and went to classes that he was not signed up for because he found them more interesting. I am not advocating skipping college, but I am advocating not confining yourself to boxes that do not make sense for where you want to head in life.
Steve wanted to help create a whole new world of personal computers and he was able to help do just that. I would imagine I might write a lot about him the next few weeks so view this post as more of an intro. Three things hit me over the head while I was reading this book:
1) Market Research is worthless when people do not know what they even need yet.
2) If you do not cannibalize your own product, someone else will.
3) Collaboration is fine, but if you invite everyone to the table, including people who do not need to be there, you will water down what might be a great idea.
The point I want to focus on a bit is market research. One of my jobs puts me in the middle of graduate higher education. It takes us a long time to bring a new product to market, and sometimes our products get watered down by immense collaboration. Not always, but sometimes this is clearly the case.
We are thinking about a new product that I think will be groundbreaking for us, and you know what? I could care less if we do market research. I know this product will attract and equip students who we do not get right now. I am excited.
I am more excited about how inspired I am by the Steve Jobs book, and his legacy. He influenced me greatly.