Let’s talk about how you can Design your Lifestyle, Apple Style. Lifestyle design is a very broad topic and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the ideas and options for how to design your lifestyle. This podcast looks at what we can learn from Apple when it comes to lifestyle design.
Lifestyle Design – Apple Style
You probably have at least one Apple product in your home. Or if you don’t have one, you know someone who does. Apple has become shorthand for sustainable success and instant recognizability. So much so that song lyrics include phrases about iPods and iPhones. There’s a song that my kids loved and we’d play it in the car from their iPod. I thought the song said, “It’s like my eyeballs stuck on a plate.” so I would sing this phrase out loud. My kids loved correcting me no Mom, it says, “It’s like my iPod stuck on replay.”
Apple has a small but mighty line of products that do exceptionally well. They are focused and strategic in their product development and marketing. And their big not-so-secret weapon? They invent something and then keep refining it.
This approach to innovation and incremental change is something you can easily adapt to your own life.
1. Hit it with the Simple Stick
Ken Segall author of Insanely Simple the Obsession that Drives Apple’s Success shares in his book how people who worked at Apple would come out of meetings with Steve Jobs shaking their heads discouraged. When asked what happened, they said, “Steve hit us with the simple stick.” This meant that Steve had rejected their work and sent them back to the drawing board.
As someone who has worked as a creative professional most of my life, I understand this completely.
So many times, I have thought or overthought a problem and delivered a solution to a client only to have them say, “Nah, I don’t like it.”
On one occasion, I recall a client had said, “Just do whatever you think is right for us.” This was a new home in upscale development with a Southern Plantation feel about it. Our interior design team put together a beautiful Southern Plantation style presentation for this client and we bombed… The client said, “No no no, we thought you knew we wanted a more Tuscan Mediterranean feel like you did for so-and so”
Wow! We were we off track… We could have given them a rubber stamp of what we did for another client.
When Steve Jobs returned to Apple. He made a strategic decision to keep Apple’s focus tight. He simplified their product lines down to four computers.
How can you simplify your life right now by eliminating the elements that waste your time and resources?
Start by cutting down or cutting out TV and video games, which are both low-return uses of your time.Then think of how you can downsize your resources. Right now we are switching to a smaller car or 1 car, moving to a smaller house, de-cluttering, to not buying more stuff you don’t need.
How can you free up time by shopping online, buying in bulk, and batch cooking?
2. Ideate & Iterate
To Ideate means brainstorm and to iterate means incremental changes.
Any psychologist will tell you that small, incremental lifestyle changes are much more successful than the big sort that tries to change everything at once. Think of how successful most New Year’s resolutions are.
Make a commitment to a significant life change, like early retirement, semi retirement or taking mini vacations.
You can make a series of small changes, like switching from going out for coffee to brewing coffee at home. Add in complementary changes, like cutting down on takeout, downgrading your subscriptions and buying a smaller car. Small iterations compound over time and can make a massive impact on your life.
3 . Be Curious
One of Apple’s big successes is its research and development capacity. They are committed to not missing an opportunity to learn and grow and improve over time.
Stay ahead of the pack by being curious, by always being open to learning and change, looking for new opportunities, tweaking your goals, and always staying committed to improvement.
4. Pinch & Zoom
The coolest feature on an iPad or iPhone is the Pinch & Zoom feature. Being able to zoom in and look at something closer is so amazing.
In my past life, I worked for an architecture firm where my boss left me a note on my desk to print out a floorplan at 1” = 1’ scale and put it on the conference table. I thought it was a mistake because we usually printed hotels at 1/8” = 1’ so I knew this would take lots of paper. I did what was asked and unrolled this on the conference room table. My boss came in and started looking over these drawings. He would lean down and put his eyes right next to the paper and then back up. I watched him a minute and asked if there was anything else he needed. He said, “you probably think this is little crazy don’t you”. I said, “Maybe a little but you’re the boss.” He said, “My eyes are getting so bad that this is how big I need to look at the drawings to catch mistakes.” He was zooming into the drawing.
5. Being Okay with Imperfection
One of Apple’s mottos is ‘just ship’ meaning that they don’t wait to get a product absolutely perfect before they launch it into the world.
Being okay with imperfection doesn’t mean you just leave it there and turn out low-quality work. It means you keep hustling. You give it your best shot, get it out, and then make improvements. You keep moving, keep thinking, keep improving.