Apple makes good products, but, just as importantly, it also markets them extremely well.
The hype for every new gadget begins at one of Apple’s famed launch events. Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs used to charismatically lead these keynotes, captivating audiences with his easy charm and flair for drama.
But Apple’s blockbuster presentations were no happy accident. Jobs used to obsess over them for months beforehand.
In a Fast Company interview about their new book “Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart Into a Visionary Leader,” Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli talk about just how deeply committed to nailing his speaking opportunities Jobs used to be.
“Steve spent months preparing for his product intros and other public appearances, and rehearsed them exhaustively,” Schlender writes. “I once spent an entire day watching him run through multiple rehearsals of a single presentation, tweaking everything from the colour and angle of certain spotlights, to editing and rearranging the order of the Keynote presentation slides to improve his pacing. He could get pretty petulant if some technical aspect went awry. In one instance that day, he just sat silently on stage with his chin in his hand, staring at the floor for nearly 15 minutes, out of frustration with a wrong lighting cue. He didn’t yell this time, but just made everyone wait while he cooled down. Even before that stage, he would call journalists like me or Steven Levy who wrote for Newsweek and later Wired, to try out metaphors and lines he was thinking about using, just to see if we thought they resonated. This could be weeks and weeks before the actual event.”
Even with Jobs gone, Apple’s product launches still roll in with much fanfare.
Although current CEO Tim Cook used to come off as rather “wooden” during presentations, he’s grown much more comfortable and now seems to legitimately enjoy taking the stage.