Great, great video of Steve Jobs in 1997, talking about the paramount importance of customer experience to building a business like Apple. Jobs poses the question of how to build a cohesive vision that will scale to allow sales of “$8 billion, $10 billion” of product a year. And he answers:
One of the things I’ve always found is that you’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You can’t start with the technology and figure out where you’re going to sell it… As we have tried to come up with a strategy and a vision for Apple, it started with what incredible benefits can we give to the customer, where can we take the customer. Not starting with sitting down with the engineers to figure out what awesome technology we have and then how will we market that. And I think that’s the right path to take.
Venture capitalist Brad Feld makes some nice observations on the basis of the video, while Jobs’ soundbite on making mistakes is also worth bearing in mind:
Some mistakes will be made along the way. That’s good, because at least some decisions are being made along the way.