I finally got around to listening to the Steve Jobs D8 interview in iTunes. The whole thing was extremely interesting and entertaining to me. But the one thing Jobs said that really resonated with me was this:
What I love about the consumer market that I always hated about the enterprise market is that we come up with a product, we try to tell everybody about it, and every person votes for themselves. They go “yes” or “no.” And if enough of them say yes, we get to come to work tomorrow. You know, that’s how it works; it’s really simple. As where the enterprise market, it’s not so simple. The people that use the products don’t decide for themselves. And the people that make those decisions are sometimes confused.
To me, that really sums up Apple’s success, especially in light of what Jobs said earlier about how Apple is structured like the largest “startup” in the world.
It’s all about thinking like a small company and knowing who pays you. It also speaks volumes about the power of consumer choice.
Whenever the cogs of consumer choice are not allowed to turn freely – whether due to government regulation or corporate bureaucracy – capital and resources don’t land in the optimal buckets. Free markets are all about wallet-based elections: voting yes or no by paying for things that work and passing on things that don’t.