Many of the articles on the passing of Steve Jobs highlighted his Stanford commencement speech and his gift for storytelling.
I raked the media coverage to see if anyone actually focused on his communications expertise.
A few did with the best one ironically coming from MIT’s media property, Technology Review.
David Zax penned a post simply titled, “Steve Jobs, Storyteller” which kicks off:
Among the many things that made Steve Jobs, who died yesterday, a genius was the fact that he was, at heart, a storyteller.
Later, Zax resurrects his 1985 interview in Playboy that I’d forgotten about.
Check out these words from more than 25 years ago:
He is on a mission, preaching the Gospel of salvation through the personal computer, preferably one manufactured by Apple. He is an engaging pitchman and never loses an opportunity to sell his products, eloquently describing a time when computers will be as common as kitchen appliances and as revolutionary in their impact as the telephone or the internal-combustion engine.
What struck me reading this passage is he maintained this intensity for 25 plus years.
I think this quality often gets overlooked when it comes to storytelling in business.
And as discussed before, he consciously created scarcity as a technique to build drama.
But his intense care – “preaching the Gospel of salvation through the personal computer” – more than any quality explains how he did it.