#53 - Learn to say “No” and remain obsessively focussed.
Apple was at the verge of collapse in 1990’s. They had 350 different product lines. The great breakthrough product launched by Apple dated back to early 1980’s. Since then, product innovation didn’t quite take off. It was a sinking ship. In 1996, Apple bought NeXT, the company started by Steve Jobs after his public ouster from Apple (circa 1985), the company he founded.
Early 1997, he became the de facto chief of Apple and started his effort to right the ship. As part of this, he discontinued the prevailing product management strategy at Apple. Instead, he decided to do away with almost all product lines and build one desktop and notebook device for consumer and professional use.
That’s it. Then started the rennaisance of Apple. In the next decade, Apple went on to launch several path breaking products such as iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, iWatch. Now it’s the most valuable company in the world with valudation of $700 billion. This all happened, when someone stood up to say “NO” and to remain focussed in the game.
“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.”