The Invention Steve Jobs Couldn’t Deliver

In the wake of Steve Jobs’ biography by Walter Isaacson, a lot of us are talking about the qualities that Jobs employed to drive his company and his own legacy forward. Tenacious, resolved, meticulous… there is hardly a shortage of adjectives to describe the man who shaped technology like no other in our generation.

There’s just one thing, though that even Jobs could not create. Surely he generated his own moments in time to launch products and solve problems that seemed impossible but even he would admit: you can’t create the perfect moment.

There is no perfect moment. It doesn’t exist.

This is precisely why Jobs was so successful; he realized that there was no perfect moment to wait for. It never arrives if all that you’re doing is waiting. This puts your own drive at the whim of others and that’s a tough way to operate. Instead, you have to create the context for doing something great. You have to ship products. You have to make ideas happen. You have to turn a concept into a bestseller.

Seth Godin wrote on the 99% blog: “Ship often. Ship lousy stuff, but ship. Ship constantly. Skip meetings. Often. Skip them with impunity. Ship.”

This is what Jobs did and it’s one of the things that separates Apple from HP and mediocre leaders from great ones. This is why Google is trying a ton of new products (think Orkut, Google Plus, Google Wallet, and so on). Some of them stick and some don’t, but they keep shipping new products.

Parents know this as well; there is no perfect moment for having children. They will always be expensive and moms will always be nervous about childbirth.

While I’m not exactly sure what I rock at at work, I do know that I come up with a lot of ideas. If today’s don’t come to fruition, no worries because I’m bringing more with me tomorrow. And the next day and the day after that. Build up a ton of ideas and some are bound to stick. That’s what Godin is talking about and what Jobs tapped into so smoothly- ship stuff. Do it over and over again and get really good at it.

What are you waiting for within your project list? Which project have you delayed in hopes for the perfect moment?

What can you do about it?

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