Tag Archives: Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs watched his programmers carefully — so should you (2016)

Categories: Software Development | Tagged , | Leave a comment

I wrote an article with an identical title a few years ago. It was so popular, I thought I’d write another version.

The psychology of the programmer
Most programmers and outsourcers in general do not want to be watched. They don’t want to be trained. They want to lock themselves in a dark room and just “bang out code.” Unfortunately, in real life I have found that the minute you are not in constant communication with a worker, the quality of their work will slide and the timeliness and efficiency will be very bad as well. Additionally, the minute I am not watching, programmers do off on tangents, start doing things that were not assigned, and waste a lot of resources. Then, when you question them about their failure to follow directions, they often throw a temper tantrum. None of this is acceptable. In my experience you have to micromanage programmers to a particular extent.

Steve Jobs watched his programmers too, but…
Steve Jobs has a similar opinion except that he was much more demanding than I was. He demanded amazing things from his programmers and chastised them if they made any mistakes. In real life, he could get fancy programmers because he ran a very prestigious company. If you hire programmers for odd jobs at a small company, you will not get the best. And if you criticize them too much they’ll quit, or get into a serious argument with you. Steve Jobs was a perfectionist and a visionary. He ran a huge organization with a huge programming budget. He could afford to pay high salaries, demand the best people, and stretch them to the limit. He had the luxury of being able to fire people on a whim if they didn’t measure up to his rigid expectations. Unfortunately, the rest of us can’t really get away with what Steve could. Let’s face it, there will only be one Steve Jobs!

Looking over people’s shoulders
Programmers are notorious about missing deadlines and not following directions. They just don’t know how to manage their time, and they just don’t care about the experience of the client. You need to keep on them and make sure they finish work on time. In fact, I would not hire a programmer for anything more than a test project until you are absolutely sure they honor deadlines which is less than 10% of them. Programmers also rarely follow all of the directions, so you have to always be double checking everything that they do. Programmers will typically blame the client for not making directions clear enough, so make sure directions are in writing. It makes sense to hire an outside consultant to check their code for quality and cleanliness as well. If you outsource to India, you are likely to get what is called “spaghetti code” which is a disorganized mess.

Watching programmers closely will help you spot a bad attitude
Are your programmers blaming you for not giving clear enough directions? Is there some excuse why they didn’t check their work? Do they want to avoid you or not have you constantly check their work? These are all signs of a bad attitude. Unfortunately, most programmers who work for anyone less than Facebook, Google, or Steve Jobs have a terrible attitude as they are the bottom of the barrel. By keeping a constant vigilant eye on them, you will spot their bad attitude quickly which could save your project.

The moral of the story
Most companies don’t want you watching what they are doing, and neither do most employees. The collective pressure to not pay attention to where your money is going is so oppressive that you might be tempted to give in. Steve and I say don’t. Watch people carefully and you can bring out their best. If you don’t pay attention it will be like a money drain. Fire people who don’t want to be watched as fast as you can. If that means your business will be smaller, that might be a good thing. The main thing is to be in control of what is going on. The minute you’re not in control — you’re in trouble!

I asked the spirit of Steve Jobs for business advice & this is what he told me!

Categories: Of Interest | Tagged | Leave a comment

I run several small web directories. It is not so similar to what Steve Jobs was involved with, but it involves automization and computers which is Steve Jobs’ passion. My psychic has no trouble communicating with departed spirits. We do this regularly, and there is nothing creepy about it. Normally we communicate with my guru(s), but this time I wanted to pursue a dream of mine. I read an article about entrepreneurs having a board of directors just like large corporations did. I thought this was an interesting idea, but didn’t know how to go about it. Getting a bunch of fancy experts in a room together was not only cost prohibitive, but impossible. But, then an idea dawned on me. Why not make a list of departed business geniouses and tap into their consciousness? We did not only that, but we also tapped into the consciousness of living people like Donald Trump and even the collective consciousness of Google which was really interesting. So, yes this really happened, and no, I’m not making this all up. Here is what Steve Jobs recommended to me:

(1) Do most of my work myself
I was shocked. I thought he would instruct me to delegate like most other business geniouses would. But, this was not his idea. He wanted me to automize my business to the point that I could run the whole thing with one hand tied behind my back. With programmers being the unpredictable and undependable types they are, I told him that on my budget it is hard to control these guys. But, I will try because Steve has a solid idea.

(2) Outsource to the Philippines
Steve liked the idea of outsourcing phone tasks to the Philippines. He liked using online chat and online forms instead of using a phone. In fact he recommended that I don’t use a phone at all for my business. I explained that we already had a lot of automation and that my customers preferred the personal touch more than half the time. But, Steve thinks the way he thinks based on what he thinks is cool. Perhaps I could train my customers into using purely online systems with a little coaching!

(3) Hiring help
Steve said that the type of people I’m hiring now are not disciplined enough. I need people who are smarter, more committed, and harder working with good communication skills. I’m not sure I can get all this on my budget, but it doesn’t hurt to shop around.

(4) Pricing
Finally, Steve Jobs said that I needed to raise my minimum prices for services. I agreed that my prices were too cheap, but his minimum price idea was not far from where we are now, so it all seemed very reasonable.

(5) Parting Advice
The most interesting thing he mentioned was that he wanted me to learn programming myself. I am not a technically minded person. But, knowing about coding might help dealing with the programmers. He also wanted me to read about great leaders in history going back to the 1500’s which sounded amazing. I think I’ll read about Thomas Jefferson, Macchiavelli, and Donald Trump as they are all very interesting to me.

Communicating with the spirit of Steve Jobs was very interesting. Since I can sense spirits, I saw how focused and intense Steve was and I liked that. He actually came to my room after my session with the psychic was over to stare at my computer screen and see exactly what it was that I did all day long. He only stayed for a few minutes, but it is flattering that a great spirit would take so much interesting in little old me! I think my session with Steve was very interesting. His answers were completely unexpected (other than the obsession with automization) and I am so happy that he spent a little time with me today! As it is my goal to have a real board of really smart people, I will continue to channel information from other brilliant individuals and organizations to see which strategies are popular across the board and to get some diversity in opinions. Each of the entities we asked through my medium gave very different advice and very unique tips which made me very happy and a little confused too!

Outsource: Steve Jobs Principle: The more people you network w/ Outside your field..

Categories: Innovation, Semi-Popular | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Steve Jobs felt that the more people you networked with outside your field, the more connections you will make that could lead to breakthrough ideas.

I have noticed that people in the same profession sometimes tend to think in similar restricted ways. If you only talk to people who think kind of like you, it is difficult to broaden your thinking. If you hang around with lots of different types of people in different fields, industries, cultures, walks of life, etc., you can be exposed to different ways of thinking which will by default, expand your thinking.

Intel sends employees to live in villages in Malaysia and India to see how people live and see the world. These employees often lived with families, ate their food, met their friends, and saw how their daily life was. By understanding how they might use computers and other technological products, they can design products that people will enjoy, and be able to use.

I feel that sometimes companies go overboard with features. If you have too many features you will baffle and overwhelm people, especially the non-technosaavy. I personally feel that technological projects should be simple, nice looking, easy to use without much if any tutorials, and fun. If you make it so complicated that there is always something critical that you are missing — you took it too far. Common sense needs to accompany innovation. Over-innovating can be a bad thing. Just give people enough to solve their problems and work effectively using a new system — that should be enough.

Anthropologists working for Intel learned that dust and electrical outages were serious issues in India, so they designed computers with longer battery life. If it were up to me, I would have detachable batteries, so that you just plug another one in when the first one runs out!

Traveling to many countries, meeting many people, having many hobbies, and studying many different subjects are all great ways to form the foundation that you need to be a great innovator. Of course, if you have an intense desire to innovate, start doing it! The more you do, the better you get at it, especially if mixed with lots of different life experiences to widen your consciousness!

“Widen your consciousness”

7 principles of Steve Jobs: #1. Do what you love!

Categories: Innovation, Popular on Twitter | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Although Steve Jobs never had principles for innovation, he did have 7 principles that drove him. These principles are Steve’s, but the interpretation is mine, based on my own experience fused with some of Steve’s commentary.

1. Do what you love
In any career there will be serious problems, setbacks and frustrations. If you don’t love what you do, no matter how good you are at it, you will be likely to quit or lose interest if you experience any big problem down the road.

2. Put a dent in the universe
It is hard to succeed in a big way if you have small goals. It is natural to think small, but train yourself to think big. If you have big goals and huge aspirations, you stand a chance to make a big difference in the world. Maybe not as much as Mr. Jobs, but, more than most other people!

3. Kick start your brain
Steve believed that having a wide variety of experiences helps you think more broadly. If you throw yourself in a variety of difficult situations, you will learn to think effectively in a wide variety of contexts. If you are always in the same place dealing with the same issues, you will not have the opportunity to grow much!

4. Sell dreams, not products.
One steakhouse sells steak, but the other sells sizzle. Which one gets the business? Nobody cares much about having a new toy, unless that toy will transform their lives. Even if you are in a small business catering to small clients, if you provide amazing service that makes their lives so much more pleasant, you will leave them with a dream-like nice feeling that they will remember! Salesmen tend to be good at selling dreams, but those dreams often turn into nightmares if they fail to deliver on promises. Have your product deliver dreams — not your salesman.

5. Say no to 1000 things.
I once read that the difference between a successful person and a very successful person is that a very successful person says no a lot more of the time. In real life, to get optimal products and optimal people, you have to narrow down your selection. Most people are mediocre. But, even among the very best people, their characteristics might not perfectly fit a team. The normal company selects one new employee after 100 points of contact such as an email, phone call or interview with a prospective employee. To have perfect employees, it might be better to go through 10,000 prospects to find that perfect one and a few backups.

But, in the innovation process, saying no has its place as well. You might need to try thousands of experiments and refinements until you get it just right! It is a long and tedious process, but if you do it right, you get a product that will be awe inspiring! if you settle for the third mediocre idea that you test out, and say, “Good enough,” you will never be world famous! Remember — good enough is the enemy of better!

6. Create insanely great experiences
I keep telling this to BPO companies. Why just drag yourself through your processes and beg people for more when you do a mediocre job on what you are doing already. Even the way people answer the phone tells me a lot about how good or bad they are. If you are passionate about your work, the way you answer the phone communicates that to the world. The way most BPO companies answer the phone, I know right away that I am going to have a miserable experience that I will regret for the rest of my life. Instead of offering acceptable or mediocre customer experiences, why not be the best in the universe? You’ll make more money, and will definitely be remembered.

7. Master the message
Many sales experts and motivational speakers are saying the same thing Steve is. Don’t sell by selling. Sell by telling stories that are magical about how someone’s life was transformed, or could be transformed by a particular product or service. If they do the math and realize the product will be good, they might go for it. But, most people think emotionally, so you have to make them feel an amazing feeling about your idea, otherwise, they will not be that active in supporting it, especially in bad times. I remember in a movie about rap artist BIG, someone compared living for paper, with living the dream. You have to sell your dream to others to get their support. So, master the art of crafting emotionally riveting stories to implant your feeling in the hearts of your listeners!

You might also like:

Steve Jobs Principle: The more people you network with outside your field

Do you use the Steve Jobs principle: Think Differently?

Do you use the Steve Jobs principle: “Think Differently?”

Categories: BPO | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

In America, people love the concept of thinking differently. We fool ourselves into believing that we are all unique individuals, that you can’t generalize and that culture is an imaginary force of nature that doesn’t really exist. The truth is that we are all unique, but not as unique as we think. Our DNA is probably 99.9% the same as other humans and what makes us different is the .1%. Sounds Kabbalistic — The 99% and the 1%. In any case, this blog article’s purpose is not to ridicule the innocent incorrect beliefs of popular American culture (even though that is fun.) I want to ask you if you think differently at your work?

It all starts with a thought…
If you want to make a small difference at work, or make a huge galaxy shaking change in the universe, it all starts with your thoughts. At least, my guru claims that all actions that have happened in the universe started with a thought. The Big Bang was started by a rather big thought, or disturbance in consciousness! So, let’s start thinking. What types of thoughts can you do to make a difference?

Problem solving
The way I understand business is very simple. You provide a service. You either follow directions or you don’t. You either do good work or you don’t. You either get back to people (hopefully in a nice way) or you don’t. And you either finish on time, or you don’t. To improve things in the world of work, you can change when and how people communicate. You can try to enhance people’s job skills. You can try to enhance the tools people use at work (Apple computer has mastered this art,) or you can refine the art of meeting deadlines. Larger corporations try to master the art of assessing the value of each of their employees and each of their customers to optimize. My experience with companies is that they often don’t get back to you and don’t finish on time. If I were going to create the perfect company, I would focus my efforts more heavily on communication and ways to meet deadlines no matter what!

Your BPO company
How can you think differently at your BPO company? There are a million things you can think about. I would start by talking to your BPO customers. What do they like about your company and what do they think needs improving. If you talk to 20 customers, you might get 20 different opinions, but you might see that 5 out of 20 are saying the same thing. Think differently by trying to solve the problem of where you are lacking. Then, think differently again and try to do something new and wonderful that no other company of your category has ever done before! Don’t ask me, I have no idea! After all, I don’t think differently!

Steve Jobs watched his programmers carefully — so should you!

Categories: Management, Popular on Google+, Popular on Twitter, Popular Posts | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Just let the programmers do their work?
I am always being told to just let the designers do their work, and just let the programmers do their work. But, whenever I am not watching, they do things wrong and go off on expensive tangents that cost me hundreds in lost labor. They will fail to follow directions, or on a vaguely discussed point, build things in a way that I either don’t like or simply cannot use. Watching programmers can save you hundreds, thousands, or your life. So, why would people tell me to back off?

It is annoying to have someone looking over your shoulder.
I believe it is a nuisance to people to always have someone looking over their shoulder. But, if they would do their work the way I want it, I wouldn’t be looking over their shoulder in the first place. If a software developer generally does what they are supposed to, I don’t need to inspect their work that often or as carefully. But, very few of these software developers follow directions well. It has gotten to the point where I just won’t work with someone who has a track record of following directions any less than 80% of the time which is still a low figure.

So many people do not want me watching their programmers.
But, Steve Jobs watched his programmers much more than I watch mine. If you want to be successful, the evidence points to paying more attention, not less. I believe that I have been dealing with very negligent people who just want me off their back and don’t care much about the quality of the work.

Fire people who don’t want to be watched – immediately
The moral of my little article here is that if people want you off their back — fire them. Find people who are on your team, who are willing to be watched if necessary. Find people who care about following directions and getting things done on time in a reasonable amount of hours. Doing a long search to find good people might be difficult, but it is easier in the long run than hiring people who are evasive, dishonest, difficult, or who just don’t follow directions.

Good luck finding cooperative people
Unfortunately, to find a software development firm that generally does things right, they are less than 1%. Happy hunting! It might be better to hire your own programmers so that you are in control if you can’t find another company who cooperates 100%.

(1) If Steve Jobs watched his programmers carefully, why shouldn’t you?
(2) If your programmers don’t want u watching over their shoulders, watch over their butts as you kick them out of there
(3) Your workers won’t mind you watching over their shoulder as long as you give each shoulder equal time
(4) Watch carefully over your programmer’s shoulder, or shoulder blame for shoddy work they do on their own.
(5) If Steve Jobs watched his programmers carefully, so should U. Come back for upgrade of this tweet a year from now.

You might also like:

What are your work standards? When do you fire substandard workers?

Hiring people with a good attitude does wonders!

How do big companies get big? It is not an accident!

The mindset of a millionaire!

Steve Jobs didn’t believe in “systems” for innovation

Categories: Innovation | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

I thoroughly enjoyed reading, “The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs.” This book was refreshing and mentally stimulating to read. Steve was a guy who was passionate about the creative process and held his workers to the highest of standards. He made more than a dent in the universe, he changed the lives of billions of people. I can’t live without my i-phone, and my assistant has a desktop from Apple that she swears by.

Innovation Classes?
Many companies who create products try to find systems for innovating, or hold classes. To bring out the magic in a person, you need to fertilize their innate capabilities and help them to develop and shine. But, how do you do this? Steve Jobs didn’t like the idea of having principles of innovation and teaching someone the rules. He thought that would be like someone in school trying to be cool, who was not innately cool.

They started in a bedroom
Steve Wosniak of Apple started his operation in his bedroom, then moved to the kitchen, and finally to their garage. Apple started with a lot of passion, tinkering, and making do with the little that they had. If you want to be a successful innovator, does that mean you should start in your bedroom? Maybe, but the fact that innovation is such a zealous obsession would make it highly likely that you would!

Innovation is about creating new ideas to solve problems
It’s not about coming up with some weird new invention that nobody has seen. It’s about coming up with a new way to solve an old problem. But, Apple seems to do it in a very classy fun way. It is fun to open up the box and get out your visually attractive Apple i-phone. The icons look pretty, and the features are very thoughtful. So, it’s more about solving problems, it’s about offering an experience that people will love!

So, what is the secret of innovation?
Just innovate with an unstoppable desire to create something. You will create your own techniques for experimentation and refinement as you go along. There is no set road, and there are no set rules. Just start exploring and don’t stop when you get discouraged!