Steve Jobs said that “we all need time for uninterrupted individual work – meetings (suppliers, interviews…) rob us of individual time, and the productivity of our engineers”

He was very clear about how to identify the most productive people – employees who are results-focused and focus on the final product

Results-focused employees

Jobs and his team were preparing to release Apple’s first personal computer, but all iterations of the mouse design were expensive, unreliable, and difficult to produce. They had hired a lot of people, but they didn’t get the idea.

“I remember that they were yelling at me that it would take five years to design a mouse and that it would cost 300 dollars. I finally got fed up and went out and found David Kelly Design – and in 90 days we had a mouse that we could make for $15 and it was phenomenal,” Jobs explained.

Kelly and his design team had gathered household objects to design a working prototype using everyday objects – a ball of roll-on deodorant served as the ball for the mouse – the lid of a yellow butter dish served as a lid.

Focus on the final product

Vinicius Amnx Amano Nonlwzwudm4 Unsplash


Thus, the founder of Apple realised that the best workers are those who are focused on the final objective, and not those that focus on repeating processes that have previously helped them to be successful. In short, those who are always looking for alternatives focused on the final product.

The fundamental problem, according to Jobs, was that many people confused what he called “process” and “content.”

For Jobs, “process” is just that: a process. When a company is successful, it tends to assume that there is “magic” in the process that led to that success, and tries to replicate that process. If a multidisciplinary team created a successful product, a multidisciplinary team is formed to develop the next product.

“Then they start try to institutionalise the process throughout the company. Before long, people get confused thinking that the process is the content”.

But he had discovered that the best are those who really understand the content – by “content,” think about what really drives results in your business – according to him, they are “a pain in the ass to manage, but you put up with it because they are so good at the content.”

Among the best employees are those who resent it when others don’t contribute, those who get frustrated when others don’t take advantage of opportunitiesthose who are not satisfied with the way things have always been done, because they understand what will really generate value.