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“Real Artists Ship.” – Steve Jobs

“Real Artists Ship.” – Steve Jobs

Everyone is an artist. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. We each have things we are very good at and creatively use our minds to do these great things. But…

Do you ship your artistry?

steve jobs "real artists ship"

When I heard about Steve Jobs (CEO of Apple) coining that phrase it really hit it home for me. Everyone has got ideas, but not everyone actually delivers their products. Your art doesn’t have to cost money like Apples Iphone. In fact, money is completely irrelevant. What is not irrelevant is marketing.

People get confused by what ship it means. I bet you are confused right now. “What does he mean ship my art?”

Consider the product ShamWow. It is a towel that holds up to 20 times it’s weight in liquid. So, someone created this product. They are the artist, the super towel is their art. But ShamWow really didn’t become mainstream until Vince Offer stepped in to do some infomercial magic.

Let me refresh your memory…

To most people in my age group (including me), this product is absolutely meaningless. However, 1.8 milion views on YouTube and people posting parodies of both this and Vince’s Slap Chop video are no lie – people see this product and some buy it.

This is what I mean by shipping it. It’s not enough to create a towel that holds 20 times its weight in liquid. To create a social network for businesses. To develop a poker strategy that works amazingly well. To write a book on fitness from your own unique perspective.

People need to know about it. Idea’s and creation are only half the battle. You must ship it.


pablo picasso


Most successful people and companies develop their “go-to-market strategy” about 6 months to a year before a concept or product launches. This is not the rule, there is no rule. You could gain all of your market share by networking. All I am trying to say to you is – Don’t sit on your idea – ship it.

Many people do this with websites. They get an idea, buy a domain, set it up, and leave it. If you aren’t being an artist with your website by adding great content, products, ideas, or information than how will someone interested in what you have to offer find you? The answer: They will not.

Some good ways to ship your art:

  • Join a forum or community and offer tons of value to the members. Learn and teach. If you have a website for your product visible, it will take care of itself.
  • Create a YouTube channel – put some time and effort into it. Use keyword optimization to reach your audience.
  • Speak about your art to anyone who will listen.
  • Use Adwords (Pay-Per-Click) to launch your product.
  • Use Search Engine Optimization or hire someone.
  • Create the best content/copy possible. (no joke)

But, the two big ones are: Tell Stories and Create an emotional connection.

toy story 3

Apple and Google are great at this. Remember those old first gen iphone commercials. What you will notice is that each of them tell a story and create an emotional connection. This is not an accident. Everything from the music to the personalized camera view is there for a reason. Notice how they all end with a call…

Or how about Google’s Search Story “Parisian Love”. This brought many people to tears. It’s extremely personalized and is an emotional story that takes place all on, you guessed it, See it below..

You are the artist so you must tell stories and create a personalized emotional connection with everyone you meet. Your outlet might be YouTube, blog interviews, meet ups, a news paper, a well marketed website, or something else. What is important is that your marketing conveys these two traits.

Consider This:

You wouldn’t know who Picasso was if he didn’t ship it.

You wouldn’t know who Bill Gates was if he didn’t ship it.

There would be no Wal-Mart if Sam Walton didn’t ship it.

You wouldn’t be reading this if I didn’t Ship it. (haha)

Of course, there is or will be an artist in every industry – that much I can guarantee. Is there room for one in your area of work? Will you ship it?

So next time you have an idea, create a product, put up a website….


Until we meet again,


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