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Steve Jobs, Beyonce and You: This is How You Take Your Content Seriously

As if the Apple store experience weren’t cool enough, as if Apple weren’t already worth $800B, now Apple has reinvented retail yet again, transforming it into a social, educational, entertainment experience.

Which is to say: Apple is a destination. And in becoming a destination, it has established itself as the freaking Beyonce of the tech world with Today at Apple as its Lemonade.

Whatever you say about Jobs, you cannot say he didn’t take his shit seriously. He practically willed Gorilla Glass into existence. And he is the reason Apple continues to grow, transform, innovate, and dominate years beyond his passing.

You Don’t Have to Be an Asshole to Make Millions

First, Steve Jobs is renowned for his assholery–which, please, the world doesn’t need more a-holes okay?

So don’t be an a-hole but do learn this lesson: But it stemmed from his profound love of his products. He wanted to make the best things, make them beautifully, make them perfect, make them better than anything else out there could ever be. (I would argue he succeeded.)

Apple’s products are your web content.

If you don’t take it seriously, no one else will either.

You Do Have to (Probably?) Be a Control Freak

Steve Jobs was a control freak. He didn’t just insist on the visible, functional, important piece of his products (like the unscratchable Gorilla Glass on iPhones). He wanted even the inside of his computers to be beautiful. Which makes sense except that MacBooks, by design, are made to only be opened by Apple personnel. The consumers would never know, but he did it anyway. That’s how seriously he took his products.

In 2011, Beyonce put out a music video for “Run the World (Girls)”. At first glance, it appears to be a pretty run-of-the-mill pop music video. She dances. Backup dancers dance. It’s visually appealing. But two, far-fetched, beyond control freak things set this video apart from all other videos:

1. She flew in dancers from Africa to teach her to do a specific dance. But not famous dancers. Her team spent 4 months tracking down two guys from a random youtube video because no other dancer in this country, apparently, could dance quite like they did. She insisted on learning directly from them.

It must be a pretty important dance, right? Like there’s some crazy dramatic twist, an epic climax wherein she and a hundred people perform this carefully, beautifully choreographed number and the viewers have no choice but to respond with breathless wonder and awe.

Ha! The song opens with the three of them performing the routine. Total screen time? About 50 seconds (!). And I bet most viewers never even notice the two dancers flanking the queen.  

2. But maybe my favorite crazy detail in this video is the four seconds beginning at 00:31. It’s a lion, guys. A full-grown, black-maned, king of the jungle lion. For no reason other than to make Beyonce look badass. (Success!)

A lion!

Four seconds!

Can you imagine the logistics that went into to producing that shot? Like, last I checked there weren’t lions roaming around America. She couldn’t just go to the Savannah and stick it in the back of her Jeep (for so many reasons). It had to be scouted, transported it and trained to sit in the front of the camera so that it didn’t turn grumpy (violent) and shred everyone around it (which is what I do when I’m hangry). All of that for a four-second shot.

A shot, by the way, in which nothing at all happens.

I’m not saying you have to be Steve Jobs or Beyonce (as if you even could).

I’m saying that these people are at the top (and Jobs has been dead for 6 years) because they took their content seriously. They continually reinvented the game, upped the stakes, innovated, created, crafted, and, ultimately, changed the world forever. (And definitely for the better.)

Now it’s your turn to build a business that matters and content that rocks.

Anna Ray