Apple is currently worth over $1.3 trillion. But, there was a time when the company was almost bankrupt.
Steve Jobs cofounded Apple back in 1976 but was kicked out by the board of directors in 1985.
When he returned in 1997, he turned everything around. Under his direction, Apple would release the iPod, iPhone, and iPad and change the world.
What was the secret to his success?
In 1997, Steve Jobs himself said,
“You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You can’t start with the technology and try to figure out where you’re gonna try to sell it.”STEVE JOBS
SOURCE: 1997 WorldWide Developer Conference
And, working backwards from the customer experience has made all the difference.
SEOT is an acronym to help us get the most out of life. The S stands for Strategy.
(It’s explained more in the goal setting slideshow)
Watch SEOT YouTube Video #17:
SEOT Step to Success #17 is to WORK BACKWARDS
We often use this strategy when we’re figuring out what time we need to leave for work.
- I have to be at a meeting for 9 AM.
- I’ll need about 15 minutes to settle in and put away my things when I get there, so I have to arrive by 8:45 AM.
- It takes about 10 minutes to walk to the building from the bus stop, so I have to get off the bus around 8:35.
- There’s a bus that can drop me off at 8:33 so I’ll grab that bus.
- The online city travel planner says that it will take me 2 busses and a train to get to work, and that I need to grab the first bus at the stop by my house at 6:45 am
- So, I’ll have to leave my home around 6:35 to give me a little bit of room incase the bus is early.
- Which means I should probably set my alarm to wake me up at 6 so I can grab a quick breakfast
Think about your goal.
- What is the end result that you want?
- What will you need to do to get there?
- Ask yourself if doing that action will actually get you to the end result. (If not, you need to brainstorm another action that will actually get you to your end goal.)
- Keep working backwards until you get to where you currently are.
The key when you’re working backwards is to ask yourself whether the action you think of will actually get you to the end result?
Consider this scenario:
A class has been given a challenge to make the world a better place.
The students decide their end result will be to donate money to a specific clause.
The teacher asks what they could do to fundraise.
Often times, students will start to suggest creating posters and putting them up in the school hallways because that’s what students are familiar with. But, will that engage students to donate?
If the end goal is to donate money, then you need to have people donate money. How do you get people interested and care enough about an issue to donate?
That’s the step you need to figure out and then keep working backwards from there.
Look at the step before your end result and ask yourself if that action will actually produce the end result you want, or did you simply put what you were already doing and say that was backwards planning?
Steve Jobs solved Apple’s problems by working backwards and he had huge success with this strategy. Imagine what you could do by working backwards as well!
Bonus video clip:
Here’s the video where Steve Jobs answers a tough question at the 1997 Worldwide Developer Conference and gives his quote about working backwards.