Steve Jobs' Biggest Contribution (That No One Is Talking About)
Ask several people to name what they think Steve Jobs’ biggest contribution has been, and you will get a variety of responses. Sure, he has brought us some amazing innovations, and millions of us own (or want to own) them. There’s the iPod, the iPad, and the i-everything else!
But when you get down to it, it really wasn’t Jobs who did it alone—it was his team. But Steve did do one thing that started a positive trend that will last for decades or longer. And that contribution is so big, so important, that by some divine guidance it was inserted into his name. Steve created jobs. And lots of them.
Steve Jobs built amazing teams. It is the fundamental component to entrepreneurial success, and when done perfectly it is the component to grand economic success. Jobs is an entrepreneur through and through and he has built a company that has brought benefits to all consumers. (Shoot, right now I’m listening to music on my iPod, downloading music from iTunes, and I just got a text on my iPhone!)
With the combination of great people making great products, jobs get created. Lots of them. Steve's own company grew from a startup to having over 7,000 employees by the time he left, the first go-around. Having 7,000 employees seems vast, but it didn’t stop there. When he returned to the company, he increased Apple to over 46,500 full-time employees. And that, my friend, is where the ripple effect in business can be so powerful.
Having nearly 47,000 full-time workers adds up to a lot of work. It also creates a lot of wealth for a lot of people who go on to consume services and products (they need Keurig's and pool boys too, you know). But it doesn’t stop there. Think about all the people who support Apple products (beyond the Apple stores). Think about all the companies that formed to create programs for Apple devices.
In fact, Apple recently announced that they have topped 15 billion app downloads from the App Store. Their store has over 425,000 apps available, which have been created by a myriad of companies. And it doesn’t stop there, either. For example, Google shows that there are over 40,000 searches per month for the term “iPad sleeve.” Also, earlier this year, Random House made their entire catalog of books (all 17,000 of them) available in the Apple iBookstore. More people working...because of Jobs (double entendre intended).
These examples alone are enough to show how Jobs’ innovations have had a ripple effect, from those who work for him to those who have developed apps for his products—and are growing their own companies and fulfilling their own entrepreneurial dreams. There are countless people and businesses making a profit from his creations, including those selling sleeves, holders, accessories, stickers, you name it! Apple products create a wide variety of markets for those selling add-ons for those products.
From writers who cover stories about Apple’s technology and write books that will be sold to iPad users, to programmers who are busy developing new apps that keep people loving their iPhone, a lot of people are impacted by this company. A lot of people have jobs, that wouldn't otherwise exist.
Jobs has done something that most entrepreneurs can only dream of achieving. But there is no doubt that others will be able to replicate it, in one form or another. Perhaps you will.
The goal is to create something that will touch a lot of people and put them to work, either directly or indirectly. That’s what he has done, thus giving work to many people and creating an empire.
The result of what he has accomplished is a company's P&L that is now bigger than the economy of many countries. It is hard to find a lot of people downing Apple, because it is touching so many lives in a positive way. Either people are reaping great rewards by making money from the company or from ancillary products, or they are using the products themselves, or both. Jobs has create a jobs ripple effect. That is nothing short of amazing. Thanks, Steve!
Image credit: segagman