Nice piece Nathan. You nailed it on the head: “Steve worked very hard, compelled (in a rarely accurate use of the word) those around him to work just as hard, and was incredibly lucky that his finger was on the pulse of his market at a visceral, instinctive level. If you don’t have that luck, using his tactics will be a more likely road to failure than success — and you may just need to go to school to learn the difference.” While we at Eight Inc worked hand in hand with him to perfect the Apple store experience before it was launched in the world, that process was one of symbiosis. He respected our professional role, but challenged us (in a constructive way)constantly. We fed off each other’s input.
Since then, countless clients have come to us to “do what we did for Apple”. We have to politely explain to them that it doesn’t work that way, that they “are not Steve Jobs” and why that matters.
It’s good to see that most people now recognize that good Design can have a spectacular ROI. For us, teaching clients how and why Design matters is a critical first step. Just as important is helping them understand what the process is. One of our faorite quotes from Steve is “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” This speaks to aesthetics, haptics, form, function and Experience. If and when all of this clicks with the Client the results are spectacular. The only way it can click is if they first understand that they are not Steve Jobs.