Apple's vice president of worldwide iPod, iPhone and iOS marketing has outlined what he believes are the four keys to the company's success.

Greg Joswiak was speaking at the Silicon Valley Comes to the UK 2011 event that took place in Cambridge last week, where he told the audience that focus, simplicity, courage and a commitment to being the best were the reasons for Apple's achievements, reports the Wall Street Journal.

"It means saying no, not saying yes. We do very few things at Apple. If you spread yourself out over too many things, none of them will be great," Joswiak said.

This particular lesson is something that Apple learnt on Steve Jobs' return to the company after his years in the wilderness. Jobs slashed the number of product lines Apple stocked and insisted on a focus on a few core products, reviving the company's fortunes. He later told Nike CEO Mark Parker to do the same thing.

On the topic of simplicity, Joswiak said: "A lot of people think [simplicity] means take something simple and leave it at its core essence. But it isn’t that. When you start to build something, it quickly becomes really complex. But that is when a lot of people stop. If you really know your product and the problems, then you can take something that is complex and then make it simple."

In terms of courage, Joswiak said that Apple had benefitted from not clinging on to the past and not following the crowd - in other words, being bold enough to follow its own path. "Don’t hang on to ideas from the past even if they have been successful for you. You don’t build a product just because everyone else has one," he said.

Finally, Joswiak said that Apple always aims to be the best at what it does. "If you can’t enter the market and try and be the best in it, don’t enter it. You need that differentiation. At Apple if we can’t be the best then we are not interested in it."

Joswiak has been at Apple for 20 years and held positions such as vice president of Worldwide Hardware Product Marketing since joining the company. He reports to Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, Philip Schiller.

Silicon Valley comes to the UK, known simply as SVC2UK, is an annual programme welcomes pioneers of the most disruptive consumer internet and green technologies to the UK.