“The older I get, the more I see how much motivations matter. The Zune was crappy because the people at Microsoft don’t really love music or art the way we do. We won because we personally love music. We made the iPod for ourselves, and when you’re doing something for yourself, or your best friend or family, you’re not going to cheese out. If you don’t love something, you’re not going to go the extra mile, work the extra weekend, challenge the status quo as much.” – Steve Jobs, from the book, Steve Jobs
Why does this have to be said? It’s because the world is filled with crappy products. It’s a reflection of the values of people behind their products and services.
If you haven’t read Steve Jobs yet, I encourage you to get the book and consume deeply. You will discover the mind and obsessions of a person who relentlessly pursued perfection for your benefit, as well as his own. His motivation is clear and consistent throughout his life. He wanted to make great products that he loved and he believed the world, in turn, would love.
There is a trail of mixed feelings about Steve Jobs, however, it is undeniable that he changed the world and did it his way. The conviction he had around great design and technology is what differentiated him from other entrepreneurs. The control of the customer experience was of the highest importance and he infused that into a company he sought to be lasting in Apple.
So, why does this matter to you? Because he’s right. The world is filled with crappy products. I do think it comes from motivation. If it’s about cashing in, customers can sense it. They are tired of the crap. Sure, you may get some sales, but you will lose in the long run as the luster runs out. We are fickle, inattentive and snobbish as consumers. We want better, if we are not delighted.
Reread the quote. Ask yourself if you are bleeding for your work. Your success in the marketplace may be marginal from this very pivot point.
Do work which excites you and creates conviction about how the world should work. The alternative is irrelevance.
What are your thoughts?