We want to make ... all our users happy. If you don't know that about Apple, you don't know Apple. We love making our users happy. That's what drives us to make these products in the first place.
Look, everyone has an opinion about Apple. And I have no special insight into how things actually work inside the organization. But it's fair to say that Apple's customers tend to be a very happy and devoted bunch. And its huge profits are clearly the result of staying customer-driven, by consistently turning out products people want.
As a result of focusing on the customer, rather than directly on profits, they're very profitable. Students of Lean will understand that this is not, in fact, a paradox. For long-term success in Apple's particular market, "Customer Focus" cannot be just an empty marketing slogan.
Stephen Covey alludes to this in Principle Centered Leadership. Businesses focused on profits will, in the long term, cease to be profitable. Businesses focused on higher principles - the reason they're in business in the first place -- will thrive. Apple seems to be a good example of this in practice.
Bonus Steve Jobs: To follow up on an earlier post about creative problem solving, I noticed when he said: "We want to find out what the real problem is before we start to come up with solutions."
(Photo credit: Apple Store)