Welcome To Steve Jobs Top 10 Rules For Success Vol. 2. The first one (Steve Jobs Top 10 Rules For Success Vol. 1) was in such high demand, I had to make another.
Did Leonardo have a guy off to the side that was thinking five years out in the future what he would paint or the technology he would use to paint it? Of course not. Leonardo was the artist, but he also mixed all his own paints.
I always ask why you do things. And the answers you invariably get are, oh, that’s just the way it’s done. Nobody knows why they do what they do.
A lot of people come to me, and they say, well, I want to be an entrepreneur. And I go, oh, that’s great. What’s your idea? They go, well, I don’t have one yet.
Evan: He was an American businessman, inventor, and visionary.
He was the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple.
He is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of the personal computer revolution, and he’s the favorite entrepreneur of all time for a lot of people.
He’s Steve Jobs, and here’s my take on Steve Jobs Top 10 Rules For Success Vol. 2!
Rule number seven is my personal favorite, and make sure to stick around all the way to the end for some special bonus clips. Also, you guys know the drill. As Steve is talking, if he says something that really resonates with you, please leave it down in the comments. Put quotes around it, so other people can be inspired as well. Enjoy.
-= STEVE’S RULES =-
- Be willing to fail
- Be the thinker and doer
- Question everything
- Reiterate the vision
- Make great products
- Act now!
- Be a great storyteller
- Get A players
-= BONUS =-
* Think about the future.
* Know your market.
* Be a rebel.
Steve Jobs Top Rule #1: Be Willing To Fail
I called up Bill Hewlett when I was 12-years-old, and he lived in Palo Alto. His number was still in the phone book. And he answer the phone himself. Yes? I said, hi, I’m Steve Jobs. I’m 12-years-old. I’m a student in high school, and I want to build a frequency counter.
“You got to act, and you’ve got to be willing to fail.” – Steve Jobs
And I was wondering if you had any spare parts I could have. And he laughed, and he gave me the spare parts to build this frequency counter. And he gave me a job that summer in Hewlett Packard working on the assembly line putting nuts and bolts together on frequency counters. He got me a job in the place that built them.
“Most people never ask, and that’s what separates sometimes the people that do things from the people that just dream about them.” – Steve Jobs
And I was in heaven. And I’ve never found anyone who’s said, no, or hung up the phone when I called. I just asked, and when people ask me, I try to be as responsive to pay that debt of gratitude back. Most people never pick up the phone and call.
Most people never ask, and that’s what separates sometimes the people that do things from the people that just dream about them. You got to act, and you’ve got to be willing to fail. You’ve got to be willing to crash and burn. You know, with people on the phone, with starting a company, whatever. If you’re afraid of failing, you won’t get very far.
Steve Jobs Top Rule #2: Be The Thinker And Doer
My entire life’s been spent only in one industry, which is this one. And, but I’ve been in it, you know, for about 15 years, and I’ve seen a lot of people make a lot of things. I’ve seen a lot of people fail a lot of things.
And my point of view on this, or my observation is, that the doers are the major thinkers. The people that really create the things that change this industry are both the thinker-doer in one person. And if we really go and we examine did Leonardo have a guy off to the side that was thinking five years out in the future what he would paint or the technology he would use to paint it? Of course not.
“The people that really create the things that change this industry are both the thinker-doer in one person.” – Steve Jobs
Leonardo was the artist, but he also mixed all his own paints.
He also was a fairly good chemist and knew about pigments, knew about human anatomy, and combining all of those skills together, the art and the science, the thinking and the doing, was what resulted in the exceptional result.
And there is no difference in our industry. The people that have really made the contributions have been the thinkers and the doers. And when you, when you, a lot of people, of course, it’s very easy to take credit for the thinking.
The doing is more concrete, but somebody’s, it’s very easy for somebody to say, oh, I thought of this three years ago. But usually when you dig a little deeper, you find that the people that really did it were also the people that really worked through the hard, intellectual problems as well.
“Combining all of those skills together, the art and the science, the thinking and the doing, was what resulted in the exceptional result.” – Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs Top Rule #3: Question Everything
Throughout the years in business, I found something, which was I’d always ask why you do things. And the answers you invariably get are, oh, that’s just he way it’s done. Nobody knows why they do what they do. Nobody thinks about things very deeply in business. That’s what I’ve found. I’ll give you an example.
When we were building our Apple-Is in the garage, we knew exactly what they cost. When we got into a factory in the Apple-II days, the accounting had this notion of a standard cost where you’d kind of set a standard cost, and then, at the end of a quarter, you’d adjust it with a variance.
And I kept asking, why do we do this?
And the answer was, well, that’s just the way it’s done. And after about six months of digging into this, what I realized was the reason you do it is because you don’t really have good enough controls to know how much it cost, so you guess. And then you fix your guess at the end of the quarter.
And the reason you don’t know how much it cost is because your information systems aren’t good enough. So, but nobody said it that way. And so later on, when we designed this automated factory for Macintosh, we were able to get rid of a lot of these antiquated concepts and know exactly what something costs to the second.
So in business, a lot of things are, I call it folklore. They’re done because they were done yesterday and the day before and so what that means is if you’re willing to sort of ask a lot of questions and think about things and work really hard, you can learn business pretty fast. It’s not the hardest thing in the world.
[Interviewer] It’s not rocket science.
It’s not rocket science. No.
Steve Jobs Top Rule #4: Focus
You know, we try to hire really smart people, but we have a very simple organization, and we try to focus and do very few things well. And focusing’s hard because focusing doesn’t mean saying, yes, it means saying, no, so we decide not to do a lot of things, so we can focus on
[Interviewer] Oh. a few handfuls of things and do them well.
And I think, you know, everybody working in the company wants to do something great. They want to be excited about what they’re working on. And they want to be recognized for it if they do a really great job.
“We try to hire really smart people, but we have a very simple organization, and we try to focus and do very few things well.” – Steve Jobs
So we just try to allow people to do the best work of their lives at Apple, and get it out to 25 million customers that we have. And that’s very exciting. You know, when you’re working on something, you know, if this works out, up to 25 million people are going to use this. It’s very motivating.
You know. And it’s not just 25 million of our customers, but other companies tend to follow us, you know. It takes ’em a few years, but other companies tend to copy what we do if it works.
And so we can influence the whole industry.
Steve Jobs Top Rule #5: Reiterate The Vision
There needs to be someone who is sort of the keeper and reiterator of the vision because there’s just a ton of work to do. And a lot of times when you have to walk 1,000 miles, and you take the first step, it looks like a long ways.
And it really helps if there’s someone there saying well, we’re one step closer, you know. The goal definitely exists. It’s not just a mirage out there. So in a 1,001 little and sometimes larger ways, the vision needs to be reiterated. I do that a lot.
“There needs to be someone who is sort of the keeper and reiterator of the vision because there’s just a ton of work to do.” – Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs Top Rule #6: Make Great Products
Things are packages of emphasis. Some things are emphasized in product. Some things are not done as well in product. Some things are chosen not to be done at all in a product. And so different people make different choices. And if the market tells us we’re making the wrong choices, we listen to the market.
We’re just people running this company. We’re trying to make great products for people, and so we have at least the courage of our convictions to say we don’t think this is part of what makes a great product. We’re going to leave it out. Some people are going to not like that. They’re going to call us names.
It’s not going to be in certain companies vested interest that we do that, but we’re going to take the heat cause we want to make the best product in the world for customers. And we’re going to instead focus our energy on these technologies, which we think are in their ascendancy and we think are going to be the right technologies for customers.
“We’re trying to make great products for people, and so we have at least the courage of our convictions to say we don’t think this is part of what makes a great product.” – Steve Jobs
And you know what? They’re payin’ us to make those choices. That’s what a lot of customers pay us to do is to try to make the best products we can, and if we succeed, they’ll buy ’em. And if we don’t, they won’t. And it’ll all work itself out.
Steve Jobs Top Rule #7: Persevere
A lot of people come to me and they say, well, I want to be an entrepreneur. And I go, oh, that’s great. What’s your idea? And they go, oh, I don’t have one yet.
And I say, well, I think you should go get a job as a busboy or something until you find something you’re really passionate about because it’s a lot of work, and I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance. It is so hard.
You pour so much of your life into this thing.
And there are such rough moments in time that most people give up. I don’t blame ’em. It’s really tough, and it consumes your life. I mean, if you’ve got a family, and you’re in the early days of a company, I can’t imagine how one could do it. I’m sure it’s been done, but it’s rough.
I mean, because it’s a pretty much, you know, an 18 hour day job, seven days a week for a while. So unless you have a lot of passion about this, you’re going to not survive. You’re going to give it up. So you got to have an idea or a problem or a wrong that you want to right that you’re passionate about.
“Unless you have a lot of passion about this, you’re going to not survive.” – Steve Jobs
Otherwise, you’re not going to have the perseverance to stick it through, and I think that’s half the battle right there. It’s hard to remember how bad it was, you know, in 19, early 80s, with IBM taking over the world with the PC, with DOS out there, it was far worse than the Apple-II. They tried to copy the Apple-II, and they’d done a pretty bad job, and you needed to know a lot.
And so things were kind of slipping backwards.
And Macintosh was, you saw the 1984 commercial. Put that, I hope you have that in your archives. You know, Macintosh was basically this, this relatively small company, you know, in Cupertino, California, taking on the Goliath, IBM, and saying, wait a minute.
Your way is wrong. This is not the way we want computers to go. This is not the legacy we want to leave. This is not what we want our kids to be learning. This is wrong, and we are going to show you the right way to do it. And here it is. It’s called Macintosh, and this is so much better that it’s going to beat you. And we are going to do it. And that’s what Apple stood for.
Steve Jobs Top Rule #8: Act Now
There’s no risk. That’s why you need to do it young. That’s why we started out, but we said, you know, we have absolutely nothing to lose. I was 20 years old at the time. Woz was 24 or five. I said, we have nothing to lose. We have no families, no children, no houses. Woz had an old car.
You know, I had a Volkswagen van. I mean, all we were going to lose is our car and the shirts off our back. We had nothing to lose. And we had everything to gain. And we figured, even if we crash and burn, and lose everything, the experience will have been worth 10 times the cost. So what did we have to lose?
“Do something when you’re young, when you have nothing to lose, and keep that in mind.” – Steve Jobs
There was no risk. And that’s, you know, I think that’s a very healthy way to look at it. Some people say, well, you could’ve gone to college and been a lawyer. Well, you’re right. But you can go to college and be a lawyer when your 25. I mean, there’s nothing that stops you from doing that.
The only thing you really have in your life is time.
And if you invest that time in yourself to have great experiences that are going to enrich you then you can’t possibly lose. So I always advise people, don’t wait.
Do something when you’re young, when you have nothing to lose, and keep that in mind. And I think that’s the best way. Not that people can’t start companies when they’re 50. I’ve seen that. Very successful companies. But it’s a lot easier when you’re young and have nothing to lose and don’t have the responsibilities to other people that you will acquire later on in your life.
Steve Jobs Top Rule #9: Be A Great Storyteller
Most people, some people here, but I don’t think most people know that there was actually some Microsoft software in that Apple-II computer. Do you want to talk about what happened there, how that occurred?
Yeah, the, there’d been the Altair and a few other companies, actually about 24, that had done various machines, but the ’77 group included the PET, TRS-80,
Commodore PET, TRS-80, and the Apple-II. The original Apple-II BASIC, the Integer BASIC, we had nothing to do with, but then there was a floating point one where, and I mostly work with Woz on that, I made, I made…
Let me tell the story.
Woz, my partner, we started out. This guy who, Steven Wozniak, brilliant, brilliant guy. He writes this BASIC that is like the best BASIC on the planet. It does stuff that no other BASICs ever done.
You don’t have to run to find your error messages. It finds ’em when you type it in and stuff. It is perfect in every way except for one thing, which is it’s just fixed point, right. It’s not floating point. And so we’re getting a lot of input that people want this BASIC to be floating point. And like, we’re begging Woz, please, please make this floating point.
[Man Interviewer] Who’s we? How many people are in Apple?
[Man Interviewer] Yeah. We’re begging Woz to make this floating point, and he just never does it. You know, and he wrote it by hand on paper.
I mean, you know, he didn’t have a assembler or anything to write it with. It was all just written on paper, and he typed it in. He just never got around to making it floating point.
[Woman Interviewer] Why?
This is one of the mysteries of life.
I don’t know. But he never did. And so Microsoft had this very popular, really good floating point BASIC that we ended up going to them and saying, help.
[Man Interviewer] And how much was the, I think you were telling us earlier.
Oh, it was $31,000.
[Man Interviewer] That Apple paid you.
For the floating point BASIC, and I flew out to Apple. I spent two days there getting the cassette, the cassette tapes were the main ways that people stored things at the time. And, you know, that was fun.
After the 512K-MAC was done, the product line just didn’t evolve as fast, well, Steve wasn’t there, as it needed to, and we were actually negotiating a deal to invest and make some commitments on things with Gil Amelio. No seriously.
[Female Interviewer] Don’t be mean to him.
[Female Interviewer] Just saying the word, Gil Amelio, you can see…
And so I was calling him up on the weekend and all this stuff, and next thing I knew, Steve called me up and said, don’t worry about that negotiation with Gil Amelio. You can just talk to me now, and I said, wow.
Gil was a nice guy, but he had a saying:
He said, Apple is like a ship with a hole in the bottom leaking water, and my job is to get the ship pointed in the right direction.
That’s a, okay.
Rule #10: Get ‘A’ Players (Steve Jobs Top 10 Rules For Success Vol. 2)
One of the things that really hurt Apple was after I left John Sculley got a very serious disease. And that disease, I’ve seen other people get it, too. It’s the disease of thinking that a really great idea is 90% of the work, and that if you just tell all these other people, you know, here’s this great idea then, of course, they can go off and make it happen.
And the problem with that is that there’s just a tremendous amount of craftsmanship in between a great idea and a great product. And as you evolve that great idea, it changes and grows. It never comes out like it starts because you learn a lot more as you get into the subtleties of it.
And you also find there’s tremendous trade-offs that you have to make. I mean, there are just certain things you can’t make electrons do. There are certain things you can’t make plastic do. Or glass do.
Or factories do, or robots do. And as you get into all these things, designing a product is keeping 5,000 things in your brain, these concepts, and fitting them all together and kind of continuing to push to fit them together in new and different ways to get what you want.
And every day you discover something new that is a new problem or a new opportunity to fit these things together a little differently. And it’s that process that is the magic. And so we had a lot of great ideas when we started, but what I’ve always felt that a team of people doing something they really believe in is like is when I was a young kid, there was a widowed man that lived up the street.
And he was in his 80s.
He was a little scary looking, and I got to know him a little bit.
I think he might of paid me to mow his law or something. And one day, he said, come on into to my garage. I want to show you something. And he pulled out this dusty old rock tumbler. And it was a motor and a coffee can and a little band between ’em, and he said, come on with me.
And we went out to the back, and we got some just some rocks, some regular old, ugly rocks. And he, we put them in the can with a little bit of liquid and a little bit of a grit powder, and we closed the can up. And he turned this motor on, and he said, come back tomorrow.
And his can was making a racket as the stones went around. And I came back the next day, and we opened the can, and we took out these amazingly beautiful polished rocks. The same common stones that had gone in through rubbing against each other like this. Creating a little bit of friction.
Creating a little bit of noise.
Had come out these beautiful, polished rocks. And that’s always been in my mind my metaphor for a team working really hard on something they’re passionate about is that it’s through the team, through that group of incredibly talented people bumping up against each other, having arguments, having fights sometimes, making some noise, and working together they polish each other. And they polish the ideas, and what comes out are these really beautiful stones.
So it’s hard to explain and it’s certainly not the result of one person. I mean, people like symbols, so I’m the symbol of certain things, but it really was a team effort on the MAC. Now, in my life, I observed something fairly early on at Apple, which I didn’t know how to explain it then, but I’ve thought a lot about it since.
If you, most things in life, the dynamic range between average and the best is at most two to one. If you go to New York City, and you get in an average taxi cab driver versus the best taxi cab driver, you know, you’re probably going to get to your destination with the best taxi cab maybe 30% faster.
You know, an automobile…
What’s the difference between an average and the best?
Maybe, I don’t know, 20%. The best CD player and an average CD player, I don’t know, 20%? So two to one is a big dynamic range in most of life. In software, and it used to be the case in hardware, too, the difference between average and the best is 50 to one, maybe 100 to one.
Okay, I’ve, very few things in life are like this, but what I was lucky enough to spend my life in is like this. And so I’ve built a lot of my success off finding these truly gifted people and not settling for B and C players but really going for the A players. And I found something.
I found that when you get enough A players together, when you go through the incredible work to find, you know, five of these A players, they really like working with each other because they’ve never had a chance to do that before, and they don’t want to work with B and C players.
And so it becomes self-policing, and they only want to hire more A players. And so you build up these pockets of A players, and it propagates. And that’s what the MAC team was like. They were all A players, and these were extraordinarily talented people.
Evan: Thank you guys so much for watching.
I made this Volume 2 series because Karlvin Edeza asked me to, so if there’s someone you’d like us to cover again, for Volume 2, leave it in the comments below, and I’ll see what I can do.
I’m also curious to figure out which of the 10 rules, what did Steve say, that had the biggest impact on you? What insight did you gain from this that you’re going to immediately apply to your business or to your life? Leave it down in the comments below, and I’m going to join in the discussion.
Finally, I want to give a quick shout-out to Tim Schmoyer from Video Creators. Tim, thank you so much for picking up a copy of my book, Your One Word, as well as tweeting it out and being on the back cover as well. I really, really, really appreciate your support.
So thank you guys again for watching. I believe in you. I hope you continue to believe in yourself, and whatever your one word is, much love. I’ll see you soon.
Think About the Future
I remember reading an article when I was about 12-years-old, I think it might have been in Scientific American, where they measured the efficiency of locomotion for all these species on planet earth.
How many kilocalories did they expend to get from point A to point B? And the condor won. It came in at the top of the list, surpassed everything else, and humans came in about 1/3 of the way down the list, which was not such a great showing for the crown of creation.
But somebody there had the imagination to test the efficiency of a human riding a bicycle. Human riding a bicycle blew away the condor all the way off the top of the list. And it made a really big impression on me that we humans are tool builders, and that we can fashion tools that amplify these inherent abilities that we have to spectacular magnitudes.
And so for me…
A computer has always been a bicycle of the mind.
Something that takes us far beyond our inherent abilities. And I think we’re just at the early stages of this tool, very early stages. And we’ve come only a very short distance, and it’s still in its formation, but already, we’ve seen enormous changes.
I think that’s nothing compared to what’s coming in the next 100 years.
Interesting paradox is it is the network, which is ultimately going to to define and create the home computer market, not keeping our recipes on these things or something like we thought in 1975.
Being a part of that network and not being able to stay away from it while you’re at home will drive people to get computers in every house just like we have a telephone in every house.
[Interviewer] But computers, they won’t just be computers, they’ll be radios and stereos and TVs.
No, I think they’ll be just computers, just like your phone isn’t your television set, just like your toaster isn’t your radio. I think they’ll be computers and they’ll have many of the capabilities of these other devices.
Multi-media, the ability to integrate sound and video in with the computer is absolutely coming, but a lot of people have mistaken it as the end rather than the means. We see multi-media as more as a means. In other words, people aren’t going to buy a computer for multi-media.
They’re going to buy it for training, or they’re going to buy it for interpersonal communication. And in that communication, in addition to text, they’re going to want voice. They’re going to want potentially, I might want to send you a video clip, but the real market is to help us communicate better or to help us train somebody. And we need to not lose sight of that.
Be A Rebel
And I met Steve Wozniak around that time, too, maybe a little earlier when I was about 14, 15 years old. And we immediately hit it off. He was the first person I’d met that knew more about electronics than I did. And so I was, I liked him a lot, and he was maybe five years older than I.
He’d gone off to college and gotten kicked out for pulling pranks and was living with his parents and going to De Anza, the local junior college. So we became fast friends and started doing projects together.
We read about, we read about the story in Esquire Magazine about this guy named Captain Crunch who could supposedly make free telephone calls. You’ve heard about this, I’m sure. [It was captivating].
How could anybody do this?
We thought it must be a hoax.
And we started looking through the libraries, looking for the secret tones that would allow you to do this, and it turned out, we were at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center one night.
And way in the bowels of their technical library, way down at the last book shelf in the corner bottom rack, we found an AT&T technical journal that laid out the whole thing, and that’s another moment I’ll never forget.
When we saw this journal, we thought, my God, it’s all real. And so, we set out to build a device to make these tones. And the way it worked was, you know when you make a long distance call, you used to hear right in the background? They were tones that sounded like the touch tone you can make on your phone, but they were different frequencies so you couldn’t make them.
It turned out that that was the signal from one telephone computer to another controlling the computers in the network. And AT&T made a fatal flaw when they designed the original telephone network, digital telephone network, was they put the signaling from computer to computer in the same band as your voice, which meant that if you could make those same signals, you could put it right in through the handset and literally the entire AT&T international phone network would think you were an AT&T computer.
So after three weeks…
We finally built a box like this that worked.
And I remember the first call we made was down to LA so one of Woz’s relatives down in Pasadena. We dialed the wrong number, but we woke some guy up in the middle of the night. And we were yelling at him like, don’t you understand? We made this call for free.
And this person didn’t appreciate that, but it was miraculous. And we built these little boxes to do ‘blueboxing.’ And we put a little note in the bottom of ’em. Our logo was He’s Got the Whole Word in His Hands. And it worked. We built the best blue box in the world. It was all digital. No adjustments.
And so you could go up to a payphone, and you could, you know, take a trunk over to White Plains and then take a satellite over to Europe. And then go to Turkey. Take a cable back back to Atlanta.
You know, and you could go around the world. You could go around the world five or six times cause we learned all the codes for how to get on the satellites and stuff. And then you could call the payphone next door, and so you could shout in the phone.
And after about a minute, it would come out the other phone, it was miraculous.
And you might ask, well, what’s so interesting about that? What’s so interesting is that we were young, and what we learned was that we could build something ourselves that could control billions of dollars worth of infrastructure in the world.
That was what we learned was that us two, you know, we didn’t know much. We could build a little thing that could control a giant thing. And that was an incredible lesson. I don’t think there would have ever been an Apple computer had there not been blueboxing.
[Interviewer] Woz said you called the pope.
Yeah, we did call the pope. He pretended to be Henry Kissinger. You know, we got the number to the Vatican, again, and we called the pope. And he, they started waking people up in the hierarchy.
You know, I don’t know, cardinals and this and that. And they actually sent someone to wake up the pope. When finally, we just burst out laughing, and they realized that we weren’t Henry Kissinger. Yeah, and so we never got to talk to the pope, but it was very funny. So.
[Interviewer] So the jump from blue boxes to personal computers, what sparked that?
Well, necessity in the sense that there was timesharing computers available, and there was a timesharing company in Mountain View that we could get free time on.
But we needed a terminal, and we couldn’t afford one.
So we designed and built one. And that was the first thing we ever did. We built this terminal. And so what an Apple-I was was really an extension of this terminal, putting a microprocessor on the back end. That’s what is was. It was kind of two separate projects put together. So first we built the terminal, and then we built the Apple-I.
And we really built it for ourselves because we couldn’t afford to buy anything.
And we’d scavenge parts here and there and stuff. And we’d build these all by hand. I mean, they’d take 40 to 80 hours to build one, and then, they’d always be breaking cause there was all these tiny, little wires.
And so it turned out a lot of our friends wanted to build them too.
And although they could scavenge most of the parts as well, they didn’t have the sort of the skills to build them that we had acquired by training ourselves through building ’em. So we ended up helping them build most of their computers, and it was really taking up all of our time.
And we thought, you know, if we could make what’s called a printed circuit board, which is a piece of fiberglass with copper on both sides that’s etched to form the wires so that you can build a computer, you know, you could build an Apple-I in a few hours instead of 40 hours.
If we could, if we only had one of those, we could sell ’em to all our friends for, you know, as much as it cost us to make them, and make our money back.
And everybody’d be happy, and we’d save, you know, we’d get a life again.
So we did that. I sold my Volkswagen Bus, and Steve sold his calculator, and we got enough money to pay a friend of ours to make the artwork to make a printed circuit board.
And we made some printed circuit boards. And we sold some to our friends. And I was trying to sell the rest of them so that we could get our microbus and calculator back. And I walked into the first computer store in the world, which was The Byte Shop of Mountain View, I think, on El Camino. It metamorphasized into an adult book store a few years later, but at this point, it was The Byte Shop.
And the person that ran it, I think his name was Paul Terrell, he said, you know, I’ll take 50 of those. I said, this is great. He said, but I want ’em fully assembled. We’d never thought of this before. So we then kicked this around.
We thought, why not? Why not try this?
And so I spent the next several days on the phone talking with electronics parts distributors. We didn’t know what we were doing, and we said, look, here’s the parts we need. We need, we figured we’d buy 100 sets of parts. Build 50.
Sell them to The Byte Shop for twice what it cost us to build them therefore paying for the whole 100, and then we’d have 50 left and we could make our profits by selling those. So we convinced these distributors to give us the parts on net 30 days credit. We had no idea what that meant.
Net 30 days credit, sure, sign here. And so we had 30 days to pay them. And so we bought the parts. We built the products. And we sold 50 of them to The Byte Shop in Palo Alto and got paid in 29 days and then went and paid off the parts people in 30 days.
And so we were in business.
But we had the classic Marxian profit realization crisis in that our profit wasn’t in a liquid currency. Our profit was in 50 computers sitting in the corner. So then, all of a sudden, we had to think, wow, how are we going to realize our profit. And so we started thinking about distribution. Are there any other computer stores? And we started calling the other computer stores that we’d heard of across the country, and we just kind of eased into business that way.
Thanks so much for watching Steve Jobs Top 10 Rules For Success Vol. 2, and remember there’s also Steve Jobs Top 10 Rules For Success Vol. 1!
You might also like
More from Motivation
Watch Evan Carmichael’s Top 10 Rules For Success video. Famous Entrepreneur Quotes Evan Carmichael's Quotes "Changing my environment had a dramatic impact …
Watch Mark Hamill’s Top 10 Rules For Success video. Famous Entrepreneur Quotes Mark Hamill's Quotes "I love the allure, the danger, of …
Watch Brandon Beck’s Top 10 Rules For Success video. Famous Entrepreneur Quotes Brandon Beck's Quotes "Whether you think you can do it, …