[Steve Jobs’] role isn’t that of a designer, but rather Chief Design Advocate. This means:
– he makes it clear that products should be “insanely great”
– he recruits a top design team, and protects them from competing goals
– he is willing to spend money, adjust technology processes, all for the goal of highly desirable products
– he convinces financial analysts, industry pundits, etc. that product design is very important.
To me, the amazing part about this is: Any company can do it. Maybe not as good as Jobs, but they can decide to make it a priority – but few companies do. With the pressure of quarterly earnings, what competitors are doing, and employee aspirational desires, the focus moves off of killer experiences for customers – that’s no good.
Interesting point by Andrew. I also love the IDEO framework he talks about earlier in the post.