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This great piece of advice was given by Steve Jobs to the then-new CEO of Nike, Mike Parker, in 2006. Nike was trying to fit its digital strategy into its huge product line and asked Jobs for input. The result was Nike+ – probably one of its most successful campaigns.

Jobs was, of course, coming from a history of successfully doing just this. When he returned to Apple in 1997, the company was in trouble and he killed some 90% of its products, turning it around from a billion+ dollar loss to a profit in just a year.

Too often we find ourselves distracted by “shiny objects” which divert our attention. Instead of constantly trying every new idea that comes along, we need to focus on fewer things, and getting these right. Understand what our markets and customers really need and provide the solution.

Apple did just this with the iPhone and, later, the iPad – revolutionising the then not-so-smart mobile phone industry and then the PC industry with its revolutionary tablet. The company took huge steps, challenging conventional wisdom in so many areas. It was about disruption built around simplicity and reliability of operation, coupled with excellent quality.

That’s how Apple became the most valuable company in the world in 2011, and has remained so – largely uninterrupted – since, becoming the first company to exceed a market cap of $2 trillion (greater than the GDP of most countries) last year.

It really is excellent advice to keep in mind.

 

#BusinessFitness #Excellence #Strategy #Disruption #QOTW

 

Some of my related recent posts on excellence and focus that might be of interest: