When the Steve Jobs biography was released, I did the unthinkable (as a UCLA English major) and judged the book by it’s cover. Actually, it wasn’t the cover per se, it was the sheer size of the book – I could just feel all that paper weighing me down, and having heard the Steve Job’s story “live” my entire life, I wasn’t that motivated to read a bunch of stuff (on paper) I’d already lived through.
Yes, the book is full of stories and people we know, but it is also full of some wonderful connections to Hawaii: Jobs, Ellison, Benioff all used to hold off-site meetings at the Kona Village on the Big Island. Now Ellison owns most of Lanai and Benioff a home on the Big Island’s Kohala Coast. It makes me think of that old joke, “Can I sell you a bridge?” Yes, Virginia, there is a bridge from the Big Island to the Silicon Valley – it’s called a gulfstream. Or the Kona Shuttle!
Job’s biography is also full of some great philosophy – one concept in particular resonated soundly with Hawaii Life’s company culture: The entire package matters, not just the outside.
Unquestionably, Jobs and Apple are synonymous with external design excellence, but as Dave pointed out, when you open up an Apple machine the screws are of the highest quality, the layout is organized – the chips are in order. At Hawaii Life, we’ve “got” the external – we have beautiful listings, some of the brightest and best Brokers and Salespeople work with us, and we do incredible things like volunteer with every REALTOR® Association in the State, and win lots of awards.
We’ve also “got” the internal wired – I realize that goes against most people’s preconceived notions about a “startup company” – but the truth is despite our phenomenal growth and success, Hawaii Life is still highly organized, efficient and laid out beautifully on the inside. This goes for our policies and procedures, human resources and staff, as well as the actual technology aspects of the company. We know what matters.
Our Princeville office was recently renovated to be Headquarters for just staff – it’s clean, efficient and gorgeous. Brokers-In-Charge meet regularly on GoTo Meeting video conferences so we can see each others’ pretty faces. We have an amazing creative department that continues to track down, root out and correct procedural inefficiencies. PropertyBase has been the loveliest technology roll out at Hawaii Life thus far – and it has already done a tremendous amount on the inside to streamline, protect and preserve our contracts and paperwork. Without harming any trees.