Business 2.0 has published a series of interviews under the title of "How to succeed in 2004." The magazine interviewed top ranking executives from Dell, Google, Federal Express, and even Enron, as well as several other companies. The point of the interview was to get advice on how to succeed in the coming year, and Apple/Pixar CEO Steve Jobs was one of those being asked. Mr. Jobs said that what keeps him going is learning new things. From Business 2.0:
Learning about new technologies and markets is what makes this fun for me. The truth is, we would get bored otherwise. Five or six years ago, we didnit know anything about video editing, so we bought technology to learn how to do that. [Now every Mac comes with video editing software.] A few years later, we didnit know anything about MP3 players, but our people looked at what was out there with a critical eye and combined that with what we already knew about design, user interface, materials, and digital electronics. That gave us the iPod.
Itis sort of like how John Lasseter at Pixar approaches his animated movies. Before he made A Bugis Life, he actually had people film what it really looks like to be in the grass from an insectis perspective, and discovered that the blades of grass and leaves are actually translucent. You just gotta go learn this stuff. If youire smart, youill figure it out.
In contrast, Michael Dell, CEO of Dell says that the best way to succeed in 2004 is to recognize what Apple pointed out in 2000. Mr. Dell says that the computer is becoming the "center" of the digital home. It was three years ago when Steve Jobs introduced this concept, calling it the Digital Hub. From Mr. Dellis interview:
We really got serious about the consumer business in 1997. At the time, about 95 percent of our revenue was business and institutions. Now it is 85 percent, and 15 percent is consumer. If you look at what is happening with digital music and broadband, increasingly you have this idea of the digital home, with the PC at the center, connecting things that used to be proprietary. So there are now multipurpose monitors that can be a computer monitor or a TV. And there is the idea of an IP-based wireless network in your home where you have different nodes, whether for audio, video, or printing output, with a PC at the center. Users are asking us for these things.
You can find all of the interviews at Business 2.0, and we recommend it as a good read.