“The spirit now wills his own will, and he who had been lost to the world now conquers the world”
If you ask me what drove me to create Apple…
I think some people are blessed with an enormous creative potential and covet to feel and express appreciation for being able to take advantage of the work that has been done by others before us. See, I didn’t invent the code involved or any mathematical formulae I use. What I actually do is make little of my own food and none of my own clothes.
Everything we do depends on the members of our species and the shoulders we stand on. And a lot of us want to contribute something back to our species and to add something to the flow for all the amazing inspirations they left in their legacy. It’s about trying to express something in the only way that most of us know how-because we can’t write Bob Dylan songs or Tom Stoppard plays. We use the talents we do have to express our deep feelings, to show our appreciation for all the contributions that came before us, and to add something to the flow.
I believe I have answered your question.
So your real concern arises why on earth we emphasise in simplicity.Why do we assume that simple is good?
Because with the physical products, we have to feel we dominate them. As you bring order to the complexity, you find a way to make the product defer to you. Simplicity isn’t just a visual style. It’s not just minimalism or the absence of the clutter. It involves digging through the depths of the complexity. To be truly simple, you have to go really deep. For example, to have no screws on something, you can end up having a product that is so
convoluted and complex. The better way is to go deeper with the simplicity, to understand everything about it and how its manufactured. You have to deeply understand the essence of the product in order to be able to get rid of the parts that are not essential.
That’s the core reason behind our product methodology. We just don’t simply quote “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. We actually believe in it.
What is design? And how do we incorporate its importance in the products we make?
The design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in the successive outer layers.
Rest is the history.
“If copying triumphs, it’s not my triumph and certainly not my domain”
From the earliest days at Apple, I realised that we thrived when we created intellectual property. If people copied or stole our software, we would be out of business. If it weren’t protected, there would be no incentive for us to make new software or product designs. If the protection of the intellectual property begins to disappear, creative companies will disappear or never get started. But there’s a simpler reason; it’s wrong to steal. It hurts other people. And it hurts your own character.
“Our love and affection for our products”
The older I get, the more I see how much motivations matter. The Zune was crappy because the people at Microsoft don’t really love music or art the way we do. We won because we personally love music. We made the iPod for ourselves, and when you are doing something for yourself, or your best friend or family, you are not going to cheese out.
If you don’t love something, you are not going to go the extra mile, work the extra weekend, challenge the status quo as much.
Why do I think Apple will continue to do extremely well?
We believe that we are on the face of the earth to make great products, and that’s not changing. We are constantly focusing on innovating. We believe in the simple not the complex. We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products we make, and participate only in the markets where we can make significant contribution. We believe in saying no to thousands of projects, so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to us. We believe in deep-collaboration and cross-pollination of our groups, which allow us to innovate in a way others cannot. And frankly, we don’t settle for anything less than excellence in every group in the company, and we have the self-honesty to admit when we are wrong and the courage to change. And I think, regardless of who is in what job, those values are so embedded in this company that Apple will do extremely well.
Why taking LSD became the second most important thing in my life?
“I came of age at a magical time”, he reflected later. “Our consciousness was raised by Zen, and also by LSD.” Even later in life he would credit psychedelic drugs for making him more enlightened. “Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life. LSD shows you that there’s another side to the coin, and you can’t remember it when it wears off, but you know it. LSD reinforced my sense of what was important-creating great thing instead of making money, putting things back into the stream of history and of human consciousness as much as I could.”
“An Entrepreneurial trait”
“There is something indefinable in an entrepreneur, and I saw that in Steve,” Bushnell said. “He was interested not just in the engineering, but also the business aspects. I taught him that if you act like you can do something, then it will work.
I told him, “Pretend to be completely in control and people will assume that you are.”
“There was just something going on here.”
The fusion of flower power and processor power, enlightenment and technology, was embodied by Jobs as he mediated in the mornings, audited physics classes at Stanford, worked nights at Atari, and dreamed of starting his own business. “There was just something going on here.” He said, looking back at the time and place.
“The people who invented the twenty-first century were pot-smoking, sandal wearing
hippies from the west coast like Steve, because they saw differently.”
Why do we regard sixties-seventies as a magical time?
The hierarchical mindset of the East Coast, England, Germany and Japan do not encourage this different thinking. The sixties produced an anarchic mind-set that is great for imagining the world not yet in existence.
“Connection with the characters of the Toy-Story”
The single most important thing for any toy is that it wants to be played with. It wants a child to grab it, giggle around with it. Not throw in a dumpster. That’s the emotional reason for the existence of all the toys.
Hard quote comes here…”Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,”
Jobs had aimed for the simplicity that comes from conquering complexities, not ignoring them. “It takes a lot of hard work,” he said, “to make something simple, to truly understand the underlying challenges and come with elegant solutions.”
“Overcoming the divide between art and technology”
When I went to Pixar, I became aware of a great divide. Tech companies don’t understand creativity. They don’t appreciate the intuitive thinking, like the ability of A&R guy at the music label to listen to a hundred artists and have a feel for which five might be successful.
And they think that creative people just sit around on couches all day and are undisciplined, because they have clearly not seen how driven and disciplined folks at the places like Pixar are. On the other hand, music companies are completely clueless about technology. They think that they can just go out and hire a few tech folks. But that would be like Apple trying to hire people to produce music. We would get second-rate A&R people, just like the music companies ended up with the second rate tech people because all the good ones are working on Mac. I’m one of the few people who understand how producing technology requires intuition and creativity, and how producing something artistic take discipline.
“Death is god’s single most important invention”
Remembering that I will be dead soon is the most important tool I have ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything-all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment of failure-these things fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
“An invaluable Hindu saying”
There’s an old Hindu saying that goes,
“In the first 30 years of your life, you make your habits. For the last 30
years of your life, your habits make you.
“Threads and Grooves of an Artistic life”
Your thoughts construct patterns like scaffolding in your mind. You are really etching chemical patterns, In most cases, people get stuck in those patterns, just like the grooves in record, and they never get out of them. I will always stay connected with Apple. I hope that throughout my life I will sort of have the thread of my life and the thread of Apple weave in and out of each other, like a tapestry. There may be a few years when I’m not there, but I will always come back…If you want to live your life in a creative way, as an artist, you have to not look back too much. You have to be willing to take whatever you’ve and whoever you are and throw them away. The more the outside world tries to reinforce an image of you, the harder it is to continue being an artist, which is why a lot of times, artists have to say, “Bye. I have to go. I’m going crazy and I’m getting out of here.” And they go hibernate somewhere. Maybe later they reemerge a little differently.
One sure way to remember who you are is to remember who your heroes are. That was the genesis of the “Think different “campaign.
“Concordance of the computer and device, putting complexity in the right place”
In order to make the iPod really easy to use-and this took a lot of arguing on my part-we needed to limit what the device itself would do. Instead we put the functionality iTunes on the computer. For example, we made it so you couldn’t make the playlists using the device. You made the playlists on iTunes, and then you synced with the device. That was controversial. But what made the Rio and the other devices so brain-dead was that they were complicated. They had to do things like make playlists, because they weren’t integrated with the jukebox software on your computer. So by owing the iTunes software and the iPod device, that allowed us to make the computer and the device work together, and allowed us to put the complexity in the right place.
Why always white?
There was something very significant and non disposable about it, yet there was something very quiet and restrained. It wasn’t wagging its tail in your face. It was restrained, but it was also crazy, with those flowing headphones. That’s why I like white. White isn’t just a neutral color. It is so pure and quiet. Bold and conspicuous and yet so inconspicuous as well.
“Apple and iPod”
Consumers soon made it a hit. More than that, the iPod became the essence of everything Apple was destined to be: poetry connected to engineering, arts and creativity intersecting with the technology, design that’s bold and simple.
“Intersection of the Liberal Arts street and Technology street-core essence of Apple and its products”
With his final slide, Jobs emphasized one of the themes of his life, which was embodied by the iPad: a sign showing the corner of Technology Street and Liberal arts Street. “The reason Apple can create products like iPad is that we’ve always tried to be at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts,” he concluded. The iPad was the digital reincarnation of the Whole Earth Catalog, the place where creativity met tools for living.
“Readiness to defend Apple and retaliation towards sleazy remarks”
Apple banned porn on its devices. “You might care more about porn when you have kids,” replied Jobs. “It’s not about the freedom, its about Apple trying to do the right thing for its users.” At the end he added a zinger: “By the way, what have you done that’s so great? Do you create anything, or just criticize others work and belittle their motivations?”
“Design could always force superhuman feats of engineering”
Steve’s and Ives faith that awesome design could force superhuman feats of engineering was reinforced by the success of the iMac and iPod. When engineers said something couldn’t be done, Ive and Jobs pushed them to try, and usually they succeeded. There were occasional small problems.
“My son should know what his dad does”
Jobs decided to bring his son Reed, then a high school senior, back with him from Hawaii.” “I’m am going to be in meetings 24/7 for probably two days and I want you to be in every single one because you will learn more in those two days than you would in two years at a business school,” he told him. “You’re going to be in the room with the best people in the world making really tough decisions and get to see how the sausage is made.” Jobs got a little misty-eyed when he recalled. “I would go through all again just for the opportunity to have him see at work, “he said. “ He got to see what his dad does.”
Nothing kills humor like a general and boring truth.
“Integration of the hardware and the software”
Great products are built at the Intersection of Liberal arts Street and Technology Street. And this time he gave one of the clearest expressions of his credo, that true creativity and simplicity some from integrating the whole widget-hardware and software, and for that matter content and covers and salesclerks-rather than allowing things to be open and fragmented, as happened in the world of Windows PCs and was now happening with the Android devices.
Jobs had never liked the idea of people being able to open things. “That would just allow people to screw things up,” he declared.
“Apple is a control-freaky place for a reason”
“We do these things not because we are control freaks” he explained. “We do them because we want to make great products, because we care about the user, and because we want to take responsibility for the entire experience rather than turn out the crap that other people make.”
He also believed he was doing people a service: “They’re busy doing whatever they do best, and they want us to do what we do best. Their lives are crowded; they have other things to do than think about how to integrate their computers and devices.” This approach sometimes went against Apples short-term business interests. But in a world filled with junky devices, inscrutable error messages, and annoying interfaces, it led to an astonishing product marked by beguiling user experiences.
Using an Apple product could be as sublime as walking in one of the Zen gardens In Kyoto that Jobs loved, and neither experience was created by worshiping at the altar of openness or by letting a thousand flowers bloom. Sometimes it’s nice to be in hands of a control freak.
“Last interview before death with Mr. Walter Isaacson”
My passion has been to build an enduring company where people were motivated to make great products. Everything else was secondary. Sure, it was great to make a profit, because that was what allowed you to make great products. But the products, not the profits were the motivation. Sculley flipped these priorities where the goal was to make money. It’s a subtle difference, but it ends up meaning everything: the people you
hire, who get promoted what you discuss in the meetings. Some people say, “Give the customers what they want.”But that’s not my approach; our job is to figure what they’re going to want before they do. I think Henry Ford once said, “If I would ask the customers what they want, they would have told me, “A faster horse!” People don’t know what they want until you show it to them. That’s why I never rely on the market
research. Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page. Edwin Land of the Polaroid talked about the intersection of the humanities and science. I like that intersection. There’s something magical about that place. There are a lot of people innovating and that’s not the main distinction of my career. The reason Apple resonates with the people is that there’s deep current of humanity in our innovation. I think great artists and
great engineers are similar, in that they both have the desire to express themselves. In fact some of the best people working on the original Mac were poets and musicians on the side. In seventies computer became a way for thye people to express their creativity. Great artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo were also great at the science. Michelangelo knew a lot about how to quarry a stone, not just know how to be a sculptor.
People pay us to integrate things for them, because they don’t have the time to think about this stuff 24/7. If you have an extreme passion for producing great products, it pushes you to be integrated, to connect your hardware and software and content management. You want to break new ground, so you have to do it yourself. If you allow yours products to be open to other hardware orv software, you have to give up some of
your vision. At different times in the past, there were companies that exemplified Silicon Valley. It was Hewlett-Packard for a a long time. Then, in the semiconductor era, it was Fairchild and Intel, I think that it was Apple for a while, and then that faded. And today, I think its Apple and Google-and a little more so Apple. I think that Apple has stood the test of the time. It’s been around for a while, but it’s still at the cutting edge of what’s going on. It’s easy to throw stones at Microsoft. They have clearly fallen from their dominance. They have become mostly irrelevant. And yet I appreciate what they did and how hard it was. They were very good at the business side of the things. They were never as ambitious product-wise as they should have been. Bill likes to portray himself as the man of the product, but he’s really not. He’s a businessperson. Winning business was more important than making great products. He ended up the wealthiest guy around, and if that was his goal, then he had achieved it. But it’s never been my goal, and I wonder, in the end , if it was his goal. I admire him for the company he built-its impressive-and I enjoyed working with him. He’s bright and actually has a good sense of humor. But Microsoft never had the humanities and the Liberal arts in its DNA. Even when they saw Mac, they couldn’t copy it well. They totally didn’t get it. I have my own theory about why the decline happens at the companies like IBM or Microsoft. The company does a great job, innovates and becomes a monopoly or close to it in some field, and then the quality of the product becomes less important. The company starts valuing the great salesman, because they are the ones who can move the needle
on revenues, not the product engineers and designers. So the sales people end up running the company. John Akers at IBM was a smart, eloquent and a fantastic salesperson but he didn’t know anything about the product. The same thing happened at the Xerox. When the sales guy run the company, the product guys don’t matter so much, and a lot of them just turn off. It happened at Apple when Sculley came in, which was my
fault and when Balmer took over the Microsoft. Apple was lucky and it rebounded, but I don’t think anything will change at Microsoft as long as the Balmer is running it. I hate it when people cal, themselves “entrepreneurs” when what they’re really trying to do is launch a startup and then sell or go public, so they can cash in and move on. There are unwilling to do the work it take to build a real company, which is the hardest work in business. That’s how you really make a contribution and add to the legacy of those who went before. You build a company that will stand for something a generation or two now. That’s what Walt Disney did, and Hewlett and Packard, and the people who built Intel. They created a company to last, not just to make money. That’s what I want Apple to be. I don’t think I run roughshod over people, but if something sucks I
tell it to their faces. It’s my job to be honest. I know what I’m talking about and I usually turn out to be right. That’s the culture I tried to create. We are brutally honest with each other, and anyone can tell me that they think I am full of shit and I can tell them the same. And we’ve had some rip-roaring arguments, where we are yelling at each other, and its some of the best times I’ve ever had. I feel totally comfortable saying “Ron, that
store looks like a shit,” in front of everyone else. Or I might say “God we really fucked up the engineering on this” in front of the person that is responsible. That’s the ante for being in the room: you’ve got to be able to be super honest. maybe there’s a better way, a gentlemen’s club where we all wear ties and speak in this Brahmin language and velvet codeword’s, but I don’t know that way, because I’m middle class in California. I was hard on people sometimes. Probably harder than I needed to be, I remember the time when Reed was six years old, coming home and I had just fired somebody that day, and I imagined what it like was to tell his family and young son that he had lost his job. It was hard. But somebody’s got to do it. I figured that it is always my job to make sure that the team is excellent, and if I don’t do it, nobody’s going to do it. You always have to
keep pushing to innovate. Dylan could have sung protest songs forever and could have probably made a whole lot of money, but he didn’t. He had to move on, and when he did, by going electric in 1965, he alienated a lot of people. His 1966 Europe tour was the greatest. He would come and do a set of acoustic guitar, and the audiences loved him. Then he brought out what became The Band, and they would all do an electric set, and
the audiences sometimes booed. There was one point where he was about to sing “Like a Rolling Stone” and someone from the audience yelled “Judas!”. And Dylan then says, “Play it fucking loud!”. And they did. The Beatles were the same way. They kept evolving, moving, refining their art. That’s what I’ve always tried to do-keep moving. Otherwise as Dylan says, if you are not busy being born, you’re busy dying.
“A special voice message from the Steve Jobs himself from the “Think Different” campaign”…
Heres to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who sees things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is to ignore them. Because they change things. They push the
human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do.