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Steve Jobs' Advice To Nike CEO (VIDEO): 'Get Rid Of The Crappy Stuff'


First Posted: 06/27/10 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 05:15 PM ET

At Fast Company's Innovation Uncensored conference in New York this April, Nike CEO Mark Parker shared some business advice Apple CEO Steve Jobs had offered to him when Parker took over.

The essence? "Get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff."

"Well, he didn't call to offer me advice, but we had worked together on a Nike Apple collaboration called Nike Plus," Parker explained. "Long story short, he said, 'Hey, congratulations, you're going to do a great job.' I said, 'Well, do you have any advice?' And he said, 'No, no, you're great.'

Parker continued, "And then there was a pause and he said, 'Well, I do have some advice. Nike makes some of the best product in the world. I mean, product you lust after, absolutely beautiful, stunning product. But you also make a lot of crap. Just get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff.'"

"And then I expected a little pause and a laugh," said Nike's CEO. "But there was a pause and no laugh at the end. And he was absolutely right. In fact ... one of my major focal points in terms of my priorities as a CEO--and even as a designer when I was growing up with the company--is to edit.

Jobs seems to have a soft spot for Nike and its products. He reportedly vowed that Apple would be the "Nike of consumer electronics" when he returned to Apple in 1996.

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Filed by Bianca Bosker  |  Report Corrections