It is the early 1980’s and computer monitors have a uniform monotonous green text running across them. But someone has studied calligraphy at college, and dreams of bringing beauty and elegance to computers…
That someone is Steve Jobs, who would introduce beautiful computer fonts to the world with the Apple Macintosh, who would give us the exquisitely designed iPhone, and who would give the world stunning Apple stores and so much more…
It speaks to the human spirit, to what we yearn for beyond the everyday, beyond mere functionality.
Beauty was essential to Steve Jobs - he drove Apple to always “be at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts, to be able to get the best of both”. That drive for beauty has helped to make Apple at times the most valuable company in the world, has helped it capture 72% of the world’s mobile phone profits with only 8% of the market share, and helps its retail stores to generate far more revenue per square metre than any other major retailer in the world.
Bringing beauty into your venture can transform it too.
Bring artistry to everything.
Learn the basics of design. A great primer is John McWade’s book “How to Design Cool Stuff” which can teach you how to see and create beautiful things.
Surround yourself with great art and music that speaks to you - and weave the best of it into your own work. (Read Austin Kleon’s great book “Steal Like An Artist” - as he says, “nothing is original, everything is a remix”).
Design in beauty at every step.
Beauty is not something added at the end. Think of yourself as a craftsman, and bring craftsmanship to every aspect of your venture. This means processes as well as products - think of the stunning showmanship of a Steve Jobs presentation, for example.
Bring in everyone.
Invite everyone in your venture to embrace design and beauty in everything they do - this is not just for the graphic designers.
Beauty blesses everyone.
It speaks to the core of both your customers and the people in your company - creating beauty will lift the aspirations, dreams and spirit of everyone who works with you, as you work…
Neil Hinrichsen is the founder of Koi. An entrepreneur all his life, Neil has cofounded two startups both of which were acquired, and is now working to develop the next generation of entrepreneurs in SA through his Koi platform, comprising a methodology for startups, classes, coffee sessions, mentoring, the KoiTips newsletters and a thriving online group. He loves working with young entrepreneurs who want to change the world. Neil also helps Microsoft with their BizSpark programme for top startups, provides mentoring at the Innovation Hub and other incubators, consults with corporates, advises the CSIR in South Africa on commercialising research, is an accredited specialist with the University of Pretoria and serves on the advisory board for Stellenbosch University's LaunchLab incubator. On the personal side he's involved in youth ministry and mentoring township teenagers. Learn more about Koi: KOI GUIDE | EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org
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