Sunday, August 14, 2011

Forbes Blog: Steve Jobs on Get Rid of the Crappy Stuff!

Steve Jobs shows off iPhone 4 at the 2010 Worl...
Image via Wikipedia
Apple recently passed Google as the most valuable brand in the world.  It’s extraordinary to think that the world’s top brand has a product portfolio that could fit on a small table.  Of course that’s part of the reason why Apple is so successful—its relentless focus on creating a small number of simple and elegant products.  When I was conducting the research for my book, The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs, I came across one story that provides a glimpse into how Steve Jobs and the company he co-founded has achieved its stunning success.  The story comes to us courtesy of Nike CEO, Mark Parker.  He said shortly after becoming CEO, he talked to Steve Jobs on the phone.
“Do you have any advice?”  Parker asked Jobs.  “Well, just one thing,” said Jobs. “Nike makes some of the best products in the world.  Products that you lust after.  But you also make a lot of crap.  Just get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff.”  Parker said Jobs paused and Parker filled the quiet with a chuckle.  But Jobs didn’t laugh.  He was serious. “He was absolutely right,” said Parker.
A ScrumInc. client recently had a problem. The Product Owner team could only produce enough backlog for 30% of the developers. The recommendation was to use the other 70% of developers to get rid of the crappy stuff. The release time was cut in half with more features than the previous release and was delivered by 30% of the developers. The stock price went up 400% during the implementation when the other 70% of the developers started getting rid of the crappy stuff.

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