What can Steve Jobs teach ICT4D Professionals? A lot!

The death of Steve Jobs is a monumental loss. He was one of the greatest innovators and the manner in which he transformed and improved user experience of computing, entertainment is beyond imagination. So much can be learnt from him, especially for ICT4D professionals. Below is the list of a few lessons, I could think of:

1. Creating a sustainable business out of innovations

Thinking of an innovation is difficult but creating a successful business model out of them is even more difficult. Steve Jobs was a master of both these traits.  ICT4D professionals must also think in the same manner and focus on the development of self-sustaining, and self-financing business models of whatever technology solutions they propose for solving development issues.     

2. Creating User Engagement and Customer Loyalty

In addition to creating a better user experience Steve Jobs major contribution was to create user engagement and customer loyalty. More than the user friendliness of Apple’s devices, it became a thing of pride to own Apple’s product. ICT4D professionals must also try to promote user engagement in a similar manner. Methods must also be devised that instil a sense of pride for the end-users while using the ICT4D implementations.

3. Sometimes end-users don’t know what they want

Steve Jobs once famously said, “It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” ICT4D professionals must also understand the above fact and not overly rely on focus groups and end user engagement before proposing solutions to their problems. Sometimes the most innovative of products can contradict what the end users envisage them to be. Be open to new ideas.

4. Understanding the power & need for constantly innovating

Steve Jobs understood that people are always looking at better ways to improve their product experience. In spite of coming up with Ipod, Iphone, Itouch, Ipad – Apple constantly came up improvements in follow-up versions with an aim to constantly improve user experience. ICT4D professionals must always aim for the same and try to constantly innovate and improve the manner in which the things are being already done.

5. Formal Education does not necessarily make you wiser

Steve Jobs dropped out of college after only one semester, & managed to create a humanity-transforming billion dollar business. It brings us to the lesson that for the truly intelligent, motivated, and brave, education is not a necessity. In the same manner, ICT4D professionals must always understand that it is not always the Ivy League Grads who provide solutions – sometimes the solutions or ideas might come from unexpected sources.

The list is long, however, listed above the some of the key lessons to be learnt. In fact, the creation of Apple by Steve Jobs transformed humanity for the better. With this in mind a funny fact that been going viral recently and lets this post with that:

Three apples transformed the world –

  1. Apple that seduced Adam
  2. Apple that fell on Newton
  3. Apple that was created by Steve Jobs! J

Long live Steve Jobs! RIP.


About Ankit Sharma

Born in Kashmir, Alumni of London School of Economics, Currently working for the Royal Bank of Scotland, Living in London with absolute passion and hope in the user of Information Technology to solve social problems.
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