Radio personality and marketing expert Yitzchok Saftlas introduces John Sculley, former CEO of Apple and Pepsi and current vice chairman of RxAdvance — a revolutionary cloud-based health care system. Here, John shares his top five takeaways from his experiences at some of the largest corporations in the world.

Change the World

Why would John Sculley, the CEO of Pepsi, leave to become CEO of a little-known start-up computer company called Apple?

Crazy, you might say.

Steve Jobs was always brilliant, but at 26 years old, the board was not prepared to make him the CEO of Apple. In a move they surely came to regret, the board allowed Steve veto power over their CEO candidates. After he turned down over 20 candidates from the tech industry, the board proposed a candidate from an entirely different industry — John Sculley.

After spending five months getting acquainted, John and Steve had to make a final decision. It was all very picturesque — the sun was setting as they stood on a terrace, overlooking the Hudson — when John turned to Steve and said, “I’m sorry. I’m not coming to Apple.”

John continues, “Steve paused, looked down at his running shoes, blue jeans, and black turtleneck sweater… and he looked up me… and said, ‘Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?’ ”

Five days later, John was the CEO of Apple.

It’s Not All About You

Gone are the knobs and buttons of the past. Thanks to Apple, technology today is intuitive and simple. Think about it: No matter how confounded you typically are by technology, you can probably work an iPhone. Technology might be getting bigger and better, but it’s also getting simpler.

Arguably the most powerful player in their industry, Apple, consistently remains at the forefront of innovation. What’s the secret to their unrivaled success?

John says it was Steve Jobs’s single-minded devotion to “beginning with the customer experience.” Take the iPod, for example. Prior to the invention of the iPod, there were hundreds of MP3 players performing competitively. Granted, Steve designed a beautiful, compact item with revolutionary technology. But what distinguished the iPod from the myriad other products is that Steve abstained from advertising its technology. Instead, he asked consumers, “How would you like to have a thousand songs in your pocket?”

The engineering of any Apple product is certainly a feat to marvel over — but Steve left that to the engineers. Rather, he focused on what would speak to his consumers and marketed that feature.

Steve was uncompromising in his resolve to minimize the consumer’s expended effort and streamline the entire customer experience. “He was a tough executive,” John recalls, “but it always revolved around the principle that simplification is the ultimate sophistication.” He constantly demanded that the engineers streamline the process, simplify the interface, and reduce the number of steps involved for every action.

It’s All About Humble Beginnings

Say you’re constructing a massive building. Before you even begin to think about its physical construction, you need to gain a complete understanding of its infrastructure. Every successful business follows the same blueprint — the trade must be learned “bottom-up.”