Recently, a decisive email that was written on October 24th, 2010 from Apple CEO Steve Jobs has gone viral on social media.

The agenda of the email was meant for top-secret offsite management meeting for the company’s upcoming “Top 100” Apple’s influential employees.

It was published amidst the ongoing lawsuit of Epic vs. Apple. The agenda is highly comprehensive which is ideal for entrepreneurs and business leaders to take notes. However, the agenda gain traction because of the very first point, entitled “2011 Strategy” which Steve Jobs assigned to himself.

The agenda contains six bullet points and each of them teaches insightful lessons.

Those six bullet points are mentioned below:

  1. Who are we?
  2. What do we do?
  3. Post PC era
  4. 2011: Holy War With Google
  5. 2011: Year Of The Cloud
  6. 2015: New Campus

Let’s discuss each one of them in detail.

Be Resilient

The first two questions of the agenda are essential for any business.

  • Who are we?
  • What do we do?

At first view, these questions may sound redundant coming from Jobs himself. As he has been running the show of being the CEO of the company for over a decade and spearheaded the company to achieve the pinnacle of success.

The reason why he included it in the agenda is that he knew perfectly well, how easily one can fall from the top. Apple had a dark past where it went from being a successful enterprise only to fail by producing mediocre products and initiatives at best.

To prevent that from ever happening again, he consistently questions who it was and what it did. He needed to make his agenda clear by identifying the company’s values, focus, leadership and ensure to align them to the organization’s goals and long-term objectives.

Lesson: The market dynamics keep on changing, so you constantly need to upgrade yourself by finding the answers to these two crucial questions.

Know Your Strengths

“Post PC era” has identified two important aspects. First, it indicated the dynamic shift of consumers’ purchases of PC to mobile devices.

The second highlighted Apple’s key strengths of being successful in this emerging market.

Jobs proudly compliments “Apple is the first company to get here,” and he was absolutely right. iPhone and iPad had become revolutionary mobile devices.

According to Statista, from 2012 to the third quarter of 2021, iPhones and iPads have been the top two products consecutively, contributing to Apple’s revenue, leaving behind Mac and other products.

Jobs knew that mobile devices were the key to success. That’s why he pushed their top influential employees to invest their resources in the improvement of mobile devices, apps, communications and cloud services. This decade-old strategy is still being followed today which has made Apple Inc. a trillion-dollar company.

Lesson: Find your strengths that make traction in the market and work hard to deliver those things better than anyone.

Keep An Eye On Your Competitors

The next bullet point showcases how Jobs knew of the competition with Google. As he calls it…

2011: Holy War with Google

Even though Apple’s iPhone and iPad were nothing short of revolutionary, however, Google still had an edge over Apple which Jobs was fully aware of. That’s why, he highlighted and shared his thoughts on how Google’s Android operating system is “way ahead of Apple” in integrating cloud services for contacts, calendars, and mail.

Jobs clearly states,

“[We need to] Catch up to Android where we are behind…and leapfrog them.”

Lesson: Double down on where you excel and ignore your weakness at your own risk.

Prioritize One Big Phenomena

In this bullet point, Jobs writes about the phenomena that would take his company to the next level. He referred to this point as “the year of the cloud.”

Jobs also writes that Apple was the one who introduced the digital hub concept and store digital assets such as photos, music, videos, contacts, and calendars on a computer system. However, that concept is coming to an end and claimed cloud is the next big phenomenon and Apple had to adapt to this dynamic change if they want to stay on top of the competition.

“Google and Microsoft are further along on the technology,” Jobs continues, “but [they] haven’t quite figured it out yet.” Jobs wanted his team to go above and beyond into achieving and leveraging this technology to its full potential.

In this way, it will help Apple to sustain and thrive in the digital world and could even have the potential to overcome their competitors. To emphasize this important subject, Jobs wrote “[We need to] tie all of our products together, so we further lock customers into our ecosystem.”

Lesson: Even though you have a lot on your plate, but certain things should have the top-most priority which should never be neglected or overlooked.

Find that one important thing out and ensure that everyone is on the same page to support and achieve it with the same passion as you do.

Look And Plan For The Horizon

Jobs close off his bullet points with these three words.

2015: New Campus

Jobs referred to this bullet point to “Apple Park,” which is a 175-acre campus, serving as the headquarters of the company. This was the dream project of Jobs which he wanted to be the heart of the company which inspires and galvanizes employees to “think different” and excel.

Unfortunately, Jobs hasn’t had the chance to see the new campus. Nonetheless, he did lay out the foundation and invested his time and efforts in the design of the campus, involved in the minute details, materials and even its interior.

Even though Jobs planned to have the new campus ready for employees to work in 2015. However, the new campus came into being in April 2017, two years later.

Lesson: Be on the ground, but always plan for what comes ahead.

Conclusion

Well, there you have it.

One ingenious business strategy including six major bullet points, written in a few words, devised for the next 10 years and so on.

These few words should be a lesson for every business student and leader alike:

  1. Be resilient
  2. Know your strengths
  3. Keep an eye on your competitors
  4. Prioritize on big phenomena
  5. Look and plan for the horizon

Leverage any one of these six bullet points along with these five steps to devise a well-thought-out business strategy.

One ingenious business strategy including six major bullet points, written in a few words, devised for the next 10 years and so on.

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