I worked at Apple for 12 years—here’s what Steve Jobs taught me about how to be successful

I worked as an engineer at Apple from 2003 to 2013. I was in charge of the teams that made FaceTime, iMessage, and CarPlay. I’ll never forget the chance I had to work closely with Steve Jobs.

He was a visionary who taught me a lot about how to make products that people love and how to be successful in anything. Here are three simple but important things I learned from Steve Jobs that have helped me succeed as a tech entrepreneur:

1. Repetition is necessary for mastery.
To get something right, you have to be patient and work hard. But it also means knowing when to stop making changes. You’ll know you’ve made the best product when you can’t wait to show it to other people.

Jobs was getting ready to show off iChat during my first week at Apple. He said, “I’m going to make everyone in the crowd crap their trousers.” Jobs knew that he had done a great job.

2. Use your failures as stepping stones to success.
When Apple was ready to release the iPhone into the world, the foundation was already there, making it possible to keep taking new and different risks later on. With every product, Jobs expected things to go wrong. But he also understood that messing up was often worth the reward. Perfection may not exist, but greatness can be achieved with a few software updates.

3. Remove the rock blocking you from going beyond your comfort zone.
The original iPhone changed the world forever in 2007, with its multitouch screen and digital keyboard as highlights. The decision to remove the mechanical keyboard was a clever industrial design solution. It allowed the iPhone to have more screen space for other creative features.

Justin Santamaria is a former Apple engineer. Currently, he is the co-founder of the fitness app Future.

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