Random Thoughts About The “Steve Jobs Rule” After Tuesday’s Lecture

13 Sep

The day before yesterday, there was a brief lecture on innovation in product design given by Doug Field, VP of Product Design for Apple, Inc. I would like to get some information about product design and user experience design. However, the lecture was so short and he didn’t talk much about designing. Even he refused to answer any questions about iPhone 5. Instead, Doug talked a lot of things about his dream, his career and his belief. He praised Darwin and quoted the quotation of the Darwin many times, “the survival of the fittest” and “nature is a designer”. He said that Organisms should produce more offspring than actually survive. So don’t fear failure because failure is necessary for progress. You can pile up lots of failures and still keep rolling. Hold out and you will succeed in time.

While Doug was showing slides, from his lively face and moving hands, I felt a strong sense of his love and belonging. “What do you love to do?”“What do you believe?” “What is your hobby”. He was showing us how to create aspirations and sell dreams! What an Apple style! As Steve Jobs said:

You’ve got to find what you love and that is as true for work as it is for lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you’ve found it.

Do what you love and love what you do, then it will be a great work. In one word, passion is everything. This is the Steve Rules of Success. This is also what I learned from the lecture. Jobs gave the people around the world a compelling reason to own his creation and in turn the world gave him a huge aspiration and respect. I’m sure almost everyone wishes to have one Apple product one day. That’s the power of Apple and the power of dream. Here I would like to share Jobs’ greatest legacy. I think it is the set of principles that drove his success. Here is four principles we can adopt in our jobs.

1. Follow your heart and intuition.

Jobs once said: Know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. Do what you feel passionate about and it really, really matters. We spend most of our day on work. If it doesn’t arouse or excite feelings, passions and vibes, how can our products stir up people’s interest in them. Time is limited. Don’t waste your time on blah and uninspired things. Take courage to follow your heart and intuition.

2. Say no to 1,000 things.

Jobs believes that a good product comes from saying no to 1,000 things. This is a powerful thought from Steve Jobs. In the lecture, Doug also stressed that we should do the best things in life. Everyday we are tossed such numerous directions doing too many things that forget to do the best one. Often, I find myself very very busy in trying different things and never think about saying “no”. Few effects to achieve. I must learn how to select the best from all the stuff and then concentrate on it. 

3. Create a need for the product.

Jobs said that, you can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new. It seems to differ from the points in our UX books and other design textbooks which stress the importance of understanding the needs of users. However, another Steve’s words may explain this, It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them. According to him, every user wants to own something but does not know what he or she really wants. Just like I know that some products satisfy me while others only frustrate me but I can’t exactly tell why. Maybe it is just my feeling and intuition. However, when I learned the principles of cognitive psychology, it suddenly hits me. Awesome! That’s actually what I want! It makes me aware of anything.

So I think the reason why Steve is the master of all is that he can capture the need in users’ deep heart and create a good product which differentiating it very well with other products and connecting with the users’ minds. In fact, the process of creating a need is selecting the best need and making the users recognizing that. Their need is there! Find it! Give users a compelling reason to vibe their feeling and buy your product.

Another question arises here. How to create that compelling reason? Well, I think the answer is to do user-centered design for the product. We should focus on ideas rather than tools or techniques. This is what I am seeking hard in my CGT 512 class. I need to get the best knowledge from my book and come back to time and time again for inspiration and insight. I am still on the road.

4. Sell dreams, not products.

The dream is not only Jobs’ but also ours. Steve Jobs really understood users and captured our imagination, then presented it on a small button in iPhone or iPad tablet. It seems so easy. As Steve Jobs said, dream bigger, be care about users themselves and believe in yourself. Act at once and you can make it reality and succeed.


Posted by on September 13, 2012 in Thoughts & Ideas


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8 responses to “Random Thoughts About The “Steve Jobs Rule” After Tuesday’s Lecture

  1. Ramya Chaparala

    September 17, 2012 at 2:14 am

    Steve Jobs is a legend. The four principles explain why he was so successful and why so many people look upto him. However, my favorite one is saying no to many things. It is striving for perfection and not settling for anything less.

    • cgt512chenguo

      September 17, 2012 at 8:44 pm

      Agree! By saying no that we can concentrate on the most important things. It can save our time and energy.Our time is limited lol.

  2. Mihaela

    September 19, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Very nice blog post, maybe better than the talk 🙂

    There is a point in life when you do need to say “no” to a thousand things. But you do need to balance that out with exploration and play, especially early on in your career. Otherwise, you may end up closing doors before you even understand what’s out there.

    My PhD advisor is no Steve Jobs, but he is a very wise man. One of the many things he told me that I keep repeating to my own students is: “Don’t shut any doors. Life has a way of slamming them shut for you anyway.” So, if you see an opportunity, explore it, or at least leave the door open because you don’t know when you may need to go down that path.

    And yes, work is important. And to be happy, it is ideal that we like it and it bring us joy and satisfaction. But is there nothing else to a human being besides work? I am also wary of becoming boring and uni-dimensional and not knowing, doing, or exploring things that would help me grow but that are not necessarily related to my work.

    • cgt512chenguo

      September 22, 2012 at 2:14 pm

      These days I am thinking about these choices and consequences. Yes or No, both can be true and both can be false. When facing a number of alternatives, it may make me less likely to choose anything, and less happy when I make a choice. As a consequence, I am swamped with so many options that I can’t make any decision, or decide wrongly. While facing just few opportunities, it is so rare that I can make better choice with critical thinking. Of course I will not shut other doors because they can give me other valuable chances. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. lol

      And I totally agree that no matter how much we enjoy it, our work is not our whole life. I always remind myself of spending time with people I love, exploring new things, playing with cats or dogs. cooking food and watching movies. It is the basis of any life balance. There are so many wonderful tings going around us! Why not enjoy it! Maybe that is the true meaning of life.

      • Mihaela

        September 22, 2012 at 5:31 pm

        I don’t know what the true meaning of life is 🙂 And whenever I think I figured it out, I change, and am looking for new meaning 🙂 But you’re a wise young woman and as long as you keep reflecting and make conscious choices, you’ll be OK 🙂

        Oh, and I couldn’t agree more about playing with cats and dogs! Here are my three furry playful companions:

      • cgt512chenguo

        September 24, 2012 at 12:19 am

        What lovely cat pictures and videos! They are curious, social and happy. I really like your Bombay Cat with black coat. Is her name Ziggy? Wow! Her brilliant eyes are stunning! You have such adorable kitties. I want to tickle and cuddle them. lol

      • Mihaela

        September 24, 2012 at 1:58 am

        🙂 Yes, they’re adorable. Maybe you’ll stop by and meet them someday.

  3. cgt512chenguo

    September 24, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Nice! Hopefully I can cuddle these sweet little guys. They are really lucky to have


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