The first 6 months of the creation of NeXT. The Apple we know today. Some great insights into Steve Jobs way of thinking.
Steve Jobs gives an excellent short answer on the importance of saying “no” and the effect on the people. Saying no is hard and it’s not a matter of killing bad things, but must be done to focus.
Steve Jobs talking about Apple and its core values. A great lesson in marketing and branding.
“Apple at the core its core value is that we believe that people with a passion can change the world… Those people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who actually do.”
I just heard that Steve Jobs has passed away. Although I am not an Apple fanboy I truly admire and respect what Steve Jobs has done for the tech world, the web economy, the music industry, the phone industry, design thinking, usability, entrepreneurship, the startup community, leadership and so much more. Thank you Steve!
Here is probably the most remarkable speech by Steve Jobs, which gives great insights into his way of thinking. It is truly inspirational and an absolute must watch.
Here are some links relating to Steve Jobs that I posted in the last years:
- Great video portrait of Steve Jobs
- The secret of Steve Job’s success (by John Sculley, Apple’s ex-CEO)
- Clarity in design – Steve Jobs interview about Paul Rand
- One more thing by Steve Jobs – The products revealed as “one more thing”
- Steve Jobs talking about what Apple believes in
RIP Steve Jobs.
Nice collection of the infamous “One more thing” moments from Apples keynotes by Steve Jobs. 🙂
Some of the products which were revealed as “But there’s one more thing…” (taken from Wikipedia):
- The AirPort base station and AirPort card after the iBook was introduced in Macworld Expo 1999
- The PowerBook G4
- The PowerMac G5 at WWDC 2003.
- The fifth generation iPod with video, announced at a press conference self-referentially titled “One more thing…”
- The MacBook Pro (at Macworld Expo 2006).
- The iPod Shuffle
- Introduction of selling movies via the iTunes Store in September 2006; a second “One more thing” in the same presentation also unveiled an upcoming product dubbed iTV (renamed to Apple TV at Macworld 2007). A third “One More Thing” was the lead-in to introduce a live performance of the song “Waiting for the World to Change” by John Mayer at the conclusion of the presentation.
- Introduction of Safari for Windows beta
- The iPod touch
- The MacBook Air
- The wireless version of the iTunes Store on the iPod touch and iPhone
- The new MacBook was introduced in October 2008 after the new MacBook Pro was introduced.
- Though Steve Jobs did not present his Macworld 2009 keynote, Phil Schiller introduced the DRM free iTunes Music Store as a “one last thing”.
- The announcement of a video camera and speaker in the fifth generation iPod Nano at the Apple Music Event in September 2009
- FaceTime video calling for the iPhone 4 at WWDC 2010
- A revised Apple TV
- A revised MacBook Air in October 2010
- The iTunes Match service at WWDC 2011
Great video portrait of Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Through interviews with friends, former colleagues and business associates, game changers (a Bloomberg series) reveals the many layers of the intensely private Steve Jobs – his style of leadership, management and creative process. Interviews include Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, former Apple CEO John Scully, journalist turned Venture Capitalist Michael Moritz, Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, former Apple “Mac Evangelist” and Silicon Valley Entrepreneur, Guy Kawasaki and Robert X.Cringely, technology journalist and former Apple employee. (Source: Bloomberg)
John Sculley, Apple’s ex-CEO, talks for the first time about Steve Jobs.
Here, in Sculley’s words, is Steve Jobs’ methodology for building great products:
1. Beautiful design – “We both believed in beautiful design and Steve in particular felt that you had to begin design from the vantage point of the experience of the user… We used to study Italian designers… We were looking at Italian car designers. We really did study the designs of cars that they had done and looking at the fit and finish and the materials and the colors and all of that. At that time, nobody was doing this in Silicon Valley. It was the furthest thing on the planet from Silicon Valley back then in the 80′s. Again, this is not my idea. I could relate to it because of my interest and background in design, but it was totally driven by Steve… What a lot of people didn’t realize was that Apple wasn’t just about computers. It was about designing products and designing marketing and it was about positioning.”
2. Customer experience – “He always looked at things from the perspective of what was the user’s experience going to be? … The user experience has to go through the whole end-to-end system, whether it’s desktop publishing or iTunes. It is all part of the end-to-end system. It is also the manufacturing. The supply chain. The marketing. The stores.”
3. No focus groups — “Steve said: ‘How can I possibly ask somebody what a graphics-based computer ought to be when they have no idea what a graphic based computer is? No one has ever seen one before.’ He believed that showing someone a calculator, for example, would not give them any indication as to where the computer was going to go because it was just too big a leap. ”
3. Perfectionism – “He was also a person that believed in the precise detail of every step. He was methodical and careful about everything — a perfectionist to the end.”
4. Vision – “He believed that the computer was eventually going to become a consumer product. That was an outrageous idea back in the early 1980′s because people thought that personal computers were just smaller versions of bigger computers. That’s how IBM looked at it. Some of them thought it was more like a game machine because there were early game machines, which were very simple and played on televisions… But Steve was thinking about something entirely different. He felt that the computer was going to change the world and it was going to become what he called “the bicycle for the mind.” It would enable individuals to have this incredible capability that they never dreamed of before. It was not about game machines. It was not about big computers getting smaller… He was a person of huge vision.”
5. Minimalism – “What makes Steve’s methodology different from everyone else’s is that he always believed the most important decisions you make are not the things you do – but the things that you decide not to do. He’s a minimalist.”
“He’s a minimalist and is constantly reducing things to their simplest level. It’s not simplistic. It’s simplified. Steve is a systems designer. He simplifies complexity.”
6. Hire the best – “Steve had this ability to reach out to find the absolute best, smartest people he felt were out there. He was extremely charismatic and extremely compelling in getting people to join up with him and he got people to believe in his visions even before the products existed… He always reached out for the very best people he could find in the field. And he personally did all the recruiting for his team. He never delegated that to anybody else. ”
7. Sweat the details – “On one level he is working at the ‘change the world,’ the big concept. At the other level he is working down at the details of what it takes to actually build a product and design the software, the hardware, the systems design and eventually the applications, the peripheral products that connect to it… He’s always adamantly involved in the advertising, the design and everything.”
8. Keep it small – “The other thing about Steve was that he did not respect large organizations. He felt that they were bureaucratic and ineffective. He would basically call them “bozos.” That was his term for organizations that he didn’t respect.
… Steve had a rule that there could never be more than one hundred people on the Mac team. So if you wanted to add someone you had to take someone out. And the thinking was a typical Steve Jobs observation: “I can’t remember more than a hundred first names so I only want to be around people that I know personally. So if it gets bigger than a hundred people, it will force us to go to a different organization structure where I can’t work that way. The way I like to work is where I touch everything.” Through the whole time I knew him at Apple that’s exactly how he ran his division. ”
9. Reject bad work – “It’s like an artist’s workshop and Steve is the master craftsman who walks around and looks at the work and makes judgments on it and in many cases his judgments were to reject something.
… An engineer would bring Steve in and show him the latest software code that he’s written. Steve would look at it and throw it back at him and say: “It’s just not good enough.” And he was constantly forcing people to raise their expectations of what they could do. So people were producing work that they never thought they were capable of… Steve would shift between being highly charismatic and motivating and getting them excited to feel like they are part of something insanely great. And on the other hand he would be almost merciless in terms of rejecting their work until he felt it had reached the level of perfection that was good enough to go into – in this case, the Macintosh.”
10. Perfection – “The thing that separated Steve Jobs from other people like Bill Gates — Bill was brilliant too — but Bill was never interested in great taste. He was always interested in being able to dominate a market. He would put out whatever he had to put out there to own that space. Steve would never do that. Steve believed in perfection.”
11. Systems thinker – “The iPod is a perfect example of Steve’s methodology of starting with the user and looking at the entire end-to-end system. It was always an end-to-end system with Steve. He was not a designer but a great systems thinker. That is something you don’t see with other companies. They tend to focus on their piece and outsource everything else.
If you look at the state of the iPod, the supply chain going all the way over to iPod city in China – it is as sophisticated as the design of the product itself. The same standards of perfection are just as challenging for the supply chain as they are for the user design. It is an entirely different way of looking at things.”
In this interview from 1993 Steve Jobs talks about Paul Rand, the designer of the NeXT logo (and many others like the IBM logo). There is a great quote in this interview about what is what like to work with Paul Rand.
I asked him if he would come up with a few options. And he said, “No. I will solve your problem for you. And you will pay me. And you don’t have to use the solution. If you want options, go talk to other people. But I’ll solve your problem for you the best way I know how. And you use it or not. That’s up to you. You’re the client. But you pay me.” And there was a clarity about the relationship that was refreshing.
When companies start to imitate one another, it’s usually either an extreme case of flattery—or war. In the case of Google and Apple, it’s both. They are merely 10 miles apart from each other in Silicon Valley and for almost a decade the two have been on good terms. Apparently, those times are now over.
With the Nexus One, Goole enters the Hardware game – threatening Apples iPhone. Apple recently acquired Quattro Wireless – an upstart advertising company that excels at targeting ads to mobile-phone users based on their behavior. With this acquisition Apple not only aims to create completely new mobile ads, apparently, they want to make search on mobile phones obsolete. An attack directed at the heart of Google.
In the next months the Apple-Google battle might get even much rougher. What happens if Apple decides to dump Google as the default search engine on its devices? This would be an obvious move as it would cut Google off from mobile data that could be used to improve its advertising and Android technology. Nevertheless, Apple needs search on the iPhone. This could even go so far that Steve Jobs could cut a deal with – gasp! – Microsoft to make Bing Apple’s engine of choice, or even launch its own search engine.
Very interesting. Let’s see how this develops.
PS: In case you missed it: Check out a prediction of mobile trends until 2020 – a look into the future of mobile.