These three Phrases Are Steve Jobs’ Best Legacy at Apple

There are few people in business or otherwise who can captivate an audience like Apple’s co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs. Part of the reason for this is because he knew his audience and could speak to them in ways that few people with the same mastery can understand.

Always the showman, Jobs was uncanny in his ability to grab the attention of a room of people and provide them with exactly what they could not live without, even though they had no idea that it was missing in their lives . He often used three words that really defined Apple’s approach to introducing products, and to this day is one of Steve Jobs’ most important contributions to the culture of the company he co-founded.

There is a long history of products Apple introduced at the end of an event. Jobs seems to finish his remarks before casually mentioning “there is one more thing”. He introduced the Apple Cinema Display, the iMac G4 (which is widely considered to be the best desktop computer design of all time) and the PowerBook G4.

So Apple also brought us the 2nd generation MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, the laptop that has defined the ultra-book category for almost a decade.

I don’t think it’s difficult to say “one more thing” is the most effective three word product marketing phrase since “just do it”. Maybe even more.

I’ll explain why in a moment, but first Apple is hosting an entire event on Tuesday called “One more thing,” which seems appropriate given that this is the third product event this fall. The previous events in September and October featured the latest iPad Air, Apple Watch Series 6, HomePod Mini, and iPhone 12.

This third event is widely expected to showcase Macs with Apple Silicon, which the company announced back in June. All of the products Apple has announced are interesting, and the iPhone always attracts the most attention, but Macs with Apple Silicon technology are sure to be the most consistent products the company will launch this fall.

That fits because whenever Jobs used “one more thing,” it was always the thing that the audience was most interested in or most pleased with. The company has used the term sparingly since then, and Tim Cook only used it to anticipate the introduction of the Apple Watch, Apple Music, and the iPhone X.

In any case, however, the phrase came at the point where it was reasonable to believe that Apple had already done everything you expected. I think it’s Jobs’ most enduring legacy at Apple. Here’s why:

One of the main reasons “something else” is so effective is that it plays with two of the strongest emotions, surprise and joy. Many of the “one more thing” announcements were entirely new products that were – at least in part – surprising.

On the other hand, they usually did something people hoped for, like the 12-inch PowerBook G4. It’s like waking up on Christmas morning, hoping for an Xbox, opening it all up and not finding it, only to have Dad bring out another box of the best present – the one you’ve been waiting for.

Either way, anticipation and reward are a powerful combination that Jobs and Apple have used extremely effectively. This is also reflected in this week’s event.

We’ve had new products from Apple that are usually available in the fall, and yet the company has something else for its loyal fans. Not only is it something they expected, there is an element of surprise, because even if everyone assumes the company is planning to announce laptops with Apple Silicon, no one knows exactly what that means.

Apple knows. Tomorrow it will tell the rest of us what is likely to be the most important product this year, as Steve Jobs could.

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