The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs – Video Book Review

by on August 25, 2011 · 15 comments

I love to read. One book that has had a big impact on my life and my business is The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs by Carmine Gallo

Carmine Gallo is a communications coach who has been studying Apple and Steve Jobs for years. In this book, he did a particularly good job of studying Steve Jobs and identifying what makes Steve, and Apple great. Reading this book allows you to answer the question “What would Steve do?” for almost any business situation.

My Video Review

Whenever I read a good book, I have a method for remembering the key points from it. I use a method called “Tag, Cliff and Review”, and I look for a few key things:

The Big Idea

What is the “big idea” that the author is trying to convey in the book? In this book, I think the big idea was this: Having a clear, concise vision for yourself or your company is the key to innovation and success.

7 Principles That Drive Steve Jobs

In Innovation Secrets, the author distilled what he sees as the 7 principles that drive Steve Jobs. He then went into detail on each of them with specific insights and examples.

  1. Do What You Love – “Don’t Settle!”
  2. Put a Dent in the Universe – See over the horizon. Do something great.
  3. Kick Start Your Brain – Innovators question, experiment, network and observe across many disciplines.
  4. Sell Dreams, Not Products – Talk about the change your product will make, what it will allow people to do, not the features.
  5. Say “No” to 1000 Things – “Get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff.”
  6. Create Insanely Great Experiences – Change people’s expectations of what a great experience can be. Think about how Apple changed the experience you have with your cell phone, or with their retail stores.
  7. Master the Message – Use elements of a good story, and consistent delivery of your message.

I go into a little more detail on each of these in the video book review.

Favorite Quotes

I also like to pull quotes from the book that I want to remember, or maybe use in a presentation sometime. Here are a few of the quotes that stood out for me in this book:

  • “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” – Steve Jobs
  • “We are artists, not engineers.” – Steve Jobs
  • “We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anybody, and produce bland, inoffensive products.” – Jonathan Ive
  • “People don’t want to buy personal computers any more. They want to know what they can do with them, and we’re going to show them exactly that.” – Steve Jobs

Believe me, there are many more great quotes in this book!

Vision vs Mission Statement

I mentioned that having a crisp, concise vision is one of the key messages of the book that stood out for me. Carmine goes into detail about this. We’ve all worked somewhere and heard the corporate mission statement full of buzzwords that nobody can remember. But how is this “vision” that he talks about different?

A Mission Statement answers the question – what you will make? They are typically long, convoluted and filled with corporate speak.

Your vision is a picture of a better world that your product or service makes possible.

To be a good vision, it must be Specific, Concise and Consistent. Here are a few notable examples of good vision statements:

Apple: “To put computers into the hands of everyday people.”
Google: “To provide access to the world’s information in one click.”
President Kennedy: “Land a man on the moon and return him safely by the end of the decade.”

Wow. Short. To the point. And powerful.

Wrap Up

How did this book change what I do? I was really inspired by this definition of a clear, concise vision and spent the time to think through and write down my vision for Expand2Web. This has become our guiding principle now for products, customer service, and making key decisions about our business.

I hope you decide to read this book, and enjoy it as much as I did!

Article by »

Don is an entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley. He founded Expand2Web and is the publisher of the Expand2Web Blog, and the GetFiveStars Customer Feedback and Reviews service.

Don has written 313 articles on Expand2Web

Author Connect » Twitter | | Facebook |

See my disclosure about advertising and affiliate links

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Ellen August 26, 2011 at 4:04 am

Hi Don,
Thank you for your review, it enticed me to get the Kindle edition of the book. I’m looking forward to reading the book and expanding both my personal and business visions.

I too am saddened by Steve Job’s resignation. It feels like the end of an era. I remember Apple when it was Jobs and Wozniak and working with the Apple IIe. I had the very first Mac though for years was a Windows user…why is beyond me, I am now an Apple convert.

I believe Steve Job’s to be one of the greatest visionaries in our lifetime. I hope he remains a miracle and we are fortunate enough to benefit from more of his vision.

Thanks again for a thorough and actionable (I bought the book!) review.


Don Campbell August 26, 2011 at 7:33 am

That’s great Ellen – I’m confident you’ll like the book!

That’s funny, I was captivated by my Apple ][+ as a kid and that’s what got me into this exciting industry in the first place.

I appreciate you dropping by!


Laura August 26, 2011 at 8:59 am

Thanks Don,
I loved the book review! I figured if I did not have time to read the secrets of Steve Jobs at least I would get a few ideas. But now you have enticed me to go get the book and read it… along with writing out a vision. : )
Thank you,


Don Campbell August 26, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Great Laura – believe me, writing down your vision is a great exercise to go through. This book will fire you up!


Lisa Hanfileti August 26, 2011 at 8:59 am

Hi Don,
Thanks for the excellent review. I read Gallo’s book on Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs and didn’t know this book existed. I don’t have time right now to read it so I appreciate your review and sharing your insights on how to apply his principles and vision to your business.


Don Campbell August 26, 2011 at 12:10 pm

You’re welcome Lisa. I also read Carmine’s Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs book, and it is excellent. There is a lot more in there than just presentation tips. Things that apply to business and life as well.


Marcia August 26, 2011 at 9:13 am

Thank you for this review, Don. Steve Jobs is a very impressive guy. And I’m a big Apple fan dating back to 1983 when I got my first Apple IIE and used it immediately to write a book. Got my feet wet fast. Probably couldn’t have done it on a IBM PC of that time. It was very interesting to hear what you picked out from the book. These are all very good principles for how to do business AND how to live life. Thanks again.


Don Campbell August 26, 2011 at 11:55 am

My pleasure Marcia. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. (I remember the Apple ][ – that was a magical device to me as a kid!


JP August 26, 2011 at 11:30 am

Thanks for sharing, great principles and great insight from both of you 🙂


eileen lonergan August 26, 2011 at 11:52 am

This is awesome, thank you so much! The part about creating customer value consistently stuck out with me. I am reading Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain by Ryan Blair right now, and he quotes one of his idols, Jeff Bezos “Don’t fear your competitor, they’ll never send you money. Fear your customer.” I think the Rock Stars of business today are focused on the customer experience. Based on your suggestion I am getting this book!


Don Campbell August 26, 2011 at 11:54 am

I agree with you Eileen. I like your take away – “the rock stars of business today are focused on the customer experience.”


Julie Larson August 26, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Great review, Don!

Expand2Web and all the Expand2Web Experts are fine examples of providing a great customer experience!


Ron West, MBA August 26, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Thank you Don for a wonderful review. I will definitely be purchasing the Kindle version of this book. I really like what you had to say about creating a vision for your life AND business. Last year, I was in a coach training program and one of the assignments was to create a clear vision for our lives. I must say that my “life vision” creation process was a really profound and rewarding experience. However, even though I have written business plans before, I never thought about writing a clear vision for my entrepreneurial endeavors. Thanks to your video, I am now inspired to do so. Thanks!


Joe August 26, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Hi Don,

Thanks for reviewing the book. I’ve been a “MAC” man for quite sometime and I can appreciate many of the insights you shared from the book. I’m going to listen to it on audible first and then I may buy it for my Kindle.

The principle that resonated with me the most was “say no to 1000 things” because this is the opposite is what is taught in our society. I believe this the same mindset that Seth Godin has as well.

Most people feel that they are missing out on something by saying No to most of the opportunities that come their way so they end up only producing mediocre experiences for others.

Again I appreciate your sharing and I’m sure that it will have a tremendous impact on me as I change the food world.


Marianne August 28, 2011 at 5:42 am

Thanks for the review! It was clear and compelling and made me want to order the book. Even the review encouraged me to “make a dent in the universe!” Thanks.


Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: