The career of visionary Apple cofounder Steve Jobs illustrates the power of innovation and the importance of committing to the customer experience.
In some industries, survival depends on the ability to evolve, innovate and take risks. E-commerce, which sits at the crossroads of technology and business, is one of these industries. There’s no better proof of the power of this approach than Steve Jobs, the visionary co-founder of Apple, who was confirmed dead this morning. Jobs started the legendary tech firm in his garage at the age of 21 and reversed the company’s fortunes following an 11-year absence – one of the greatest comebacks in modern business.
More importantly, Jobs’ obsession with the consumer experience shifted the industry’s focus from the power of technology to the way people use it their everyday lives. It was this fixation that sparked the iPhone and the iPad – devices that changed the way we communicate, consume content and make purchases.
The retail industry was among the first to adopt the iPad, a device that defied early skeptics to become one of the most powerful drivers of m-commerce. The iPhone has had an equally transformative effect, allowing customers make purchases on the go while producing a completely novel user experience in the form of the smartphone app.
Jobs’ commitment to designing an experience for the customer saw Apple grow its revenue from $US7.1 billion in September 2007 to $65.2 billion today. But if the reaction to his death is anything to go by, his legacy goes far beyond the figures.