Steve Jobs Quotes
Most popular Steve Jobs Quotes
It just works.
Real artists ship.
Click. Boom. Amazing!
Artists sign their work.
It'll make your jaw drop.
Stay hungry, stay foolish.
It's not done until it ships.
They are shamelessly copying us.
The products speak for themselves.
Creativity is just connecting things.
I want to put a ding in the universe.
Trust that dots will somehow connect.
I believe humans are noble and honorable.
If you don't have a passion, you'll give up.
It's better to be a pirate than join the navy.
IBM wants to wipe us off the face of the earth.
We've kept our marriage secret for over a decade.
There's something much bigger than any of us here.
[Smiling] We're just enthusiastic about what we do.
It's more fun to be a pirate than to join the navy.
What's important is that you have a faith in people.
Things don't have to change the world to be important.
I don't understand why all of a sudden we're so broke.
If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle.
Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.
What about 2011? Is it going to be the year of the copycats?
We hire people who want to make the best things in the world.
I've always been attracted to the more revolutionary changes.
Netbooks aren't better than anything. They're just cheap laptops.
I would trade all of my technology for an afternoon with Socrates.
I believe life is an intelligent thing: that things aren't random.
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.
Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith.
I end up not buying a lot of things, because I find them ridiculous.
It takes a passionate commitment to thoroughly understand something.
You don't need to take notes. If it's important, you'll remember it.
Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice.
We made the buttons on the screen look so good, you'll want to lick them.
I understand the appeal of a slow burn, but personally I'm a big-bang guy.
We're here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?
We're in uncharted territory. We've never sold this many of anything before.
Let's go invent tomorrow rather than worrying about what happened yesterday.
Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.
We used to dream about this stuff. Now we get to build it. It's pretty great.
Quality is much better than quantity. One home run is better than two doubles.
We're not going to be the first to this party, but we're going to be the best.
They're babes in the woods. I think I can help turn Alvy and Ed into businessmen.
I hear you're great, but everything you've done so far is crap. Come work for me.
I've always wanted to own and control the primary technology in everything we do.
I make 50 cents for showing up...and the other 50 cents is based on my performance.
Unfortunately, people are not rebelling against Microsoft. They don't know any better.
The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.
The broader one's understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.
I get 50 cents a year for showing up...and the other 50 cents is based on my performance.
It's only by saying "no" that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.
We do no market research. We don't hire consultants.... We just want to make great products.
It cost us, I don't know, six, nine months. But it was the right decision by a million miles.
In our business, one person can't do anything anymore. You create a team of people around you.
Nobody has tried to swallow us since I've been here. I think they are afraid how we would taste.
We believe the next great era is for the personal computer to be the digital hub of all these devices.
I've had lots of girlfriends. But the greatest high in my life was the day we introduced the Macintosh.
We're family. She's one of my best friends in the world. I call her and talk to her every couple of days.
Focusing is about saying no. And you've got to say, no, no, no. And you say no and you piss off people.
You know, if the hardware is the brain and the sinew of our products, the software in them is their soul.
The problem is I'm older now, I'm 40 years old, and this stuff doesn't change the world. It really doesn't.
Just to try to be as good a father to them as my father was to me. I think about that every day of my life.
A creative period like this lasts only maybe a decade, but it can be a golden decade if we manage it properly.
Some people worry about the word "interim," but they weren't worried about the last CEO, and he wasn't interim.
Victory in our industry is spelled survival. The way we're going to survive is to innovate our way out of this.
I'm the only person I know that's lost a quarter of a billion dollars in one year. It's very character-building.
Do you want to sell sugared water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?
The cure for Apple is not cost-cutting. The cure for Apple is to innovate its way out of its current predicament.
Some mistakes will be made along the way. That's good, because at least some decisions are being made along the way.
I decided I'm not a hostile-takeover kind of guy. If they had [asked] me to come back, it might have been different.
iPhone is five years ahead of what everybody else has got. If we didn't do one more thing we'd be set for five years!
One of the reasons I think Microsoft took ten years to copy the Mac is because they didn't really get it at its core.
It will go down in history as a turning point for the music industry. This is landmark stuff. I can't overestimate it!
My favorite things in life don't cost any money. It's really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.
My recollection is we stole the show, and a lot of dealers and distributors started lining up and we were off and running.
The roots of Apple were to build computers for people, not for corporations. The world doesn't need another Dell or Compaq.
The Lisa people wanted to do something great. And the Mac people want to do something insanely great. The difference shows.
Some things are good in a product, some things are bad. If the market tells us we're making bad choices, we'll make changes.
We believe it's the biggest advance in animation since Walt Disney started it all with the release of Snow White 50 years ago.
It's really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them.
Apple's market share is bigger than BMW or Mercedes or Porsche in the automotive market. What's wrong with being BMW or Mercedes?
Pixar's seen by a lot of folks as an overnight success, but if you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.
Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.
Sure, what we do has to make commercial sense, but it's never the starting point. We start with the product and the user experience.
What a computer is to me is the most remarkable tool that we have ever come up with. It's the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.
My dream is that every person in the world will have their own Apple computer. To do that, we've got to be a great marketing company.
The thing that bound us together at Apple was the ability to make things that were going to change the world. That was very important.
You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new.
Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we've done something wonderful that's what matters to me.
And the reason they were able to do that was that they've had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.
We're always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it's only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.
O.K., tell me what's wrong with this place. It's the products! So what's wrong with the products? The products SUCK! There's no sex in them anymore!
I think different religions are different doors to the same house. Sometimes I think the house exists, and sometimes I don't. It's the great mystery.
It's curious to me that the largest computer company in the world [IBM] couldn't even match the Apple II, which was designed in a garage six years ago.
Knowing I was adopted may have made me feel more independent, but I have never felt abandoned. I've always felt special. My parents made me feel special.
Apple has some tremendous assets, but I believe without some attention, the company could, could, could—I'm searching for the right word—could, could die.
Making an insanely great product has a lot to do with the process of making the product, how you learn things and adopt new ideas and throw out old ideas.
The organization is clean and simple to understand, and very accountable. Everything just got simpler. That's been one of my mantras—focus and simplicity.
We're gambling on our vision, and we would rather do that than make "me, too" products. Let some other companies do that. For us, it's always the next dream.
That's been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex; you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.
I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
Playboy Magazine: Are you saying that the people who made PC don't have that kind of pride in the product? JOBS: If they did, they wouldn't have made the PC.
You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
Death is the destination we all share, no one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be because death is very likely the single best invention of life.
For something this complicated, it's really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them.
People judge you by your performance, so focus on the outcome. Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected.
The real estate was a lot more expensive [but people] didn't have to gamble with 20 minutes of their time. They only had to gamble with 20 footsteps of their time.
I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. ]ust figure out what's next.
Parenthood changes one's world. It's almost like a switch gets flipped inside you, and you can feel a whole new range of feelings that you never thought you'd have.
But it's a disservice to constantly put things in this radical new light—that it's going to change everything. Things don't have to change the world to be important.
If I were running Apple, I would milk the Macintosh for all it's worth—and get busy on the next great thing. The PC wars are over. Done. Microsoft won a long time ago.
Take desktop video editing. I never got one request from someone who wanted to edit movies on his computer. Yet now that people see it, they say, 'Oh my God, that's great!'
We don't stand a chance of advertising with features and benefits and with RAMs and with charts and comparisons. The only chance we have of communicating is with a feeling.
The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it.
I wish him the best, I really do. I just think he and Microsoft are a bit narrow. He'd be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger.
We never talk about future products. There used to be a saying at Apple: Isn't it funny? A ship that leaks from the top. So—I don't wanna perpetuate that. So I really can't say.
You know, I've got a plan that could rescue Apple. I can't say any more than that it's the perfect product and the perfect strategy for Apple. But nobody there will listen to me.
Technology is nothing. What's important is that you have a faith in people, that they're basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they'll do wonderful things with them.
Sell well-designed, well-made technology products that aren't the cheapest on the market, but command dependable loyalty from customers because the Apple brand is a mark of quality.
I had dinner in Seattle at Bill Gates' house a couple of weeks ago. We were both remarking how at one time we were the youngest guys in this business, and now we're the gray-beards.
My college fund came from my dad paying $50 for a Ford Falcon or some other beat-up car that didn't run, working on it for a few weeks, and selling it for $250—and not telling the IRS.
I wish [Bill Gates] the best, I really do. I just think he and Microsoft are a bit narrow He'd be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger.
[Miele] really thought the process through.They did such a great job designing these washers and dryers. I got more thrill out of them than I have out of any piece of high tech in years.
If we could make four great product platforms that's all we need. We can put our A team on every single one of them instead of having a B or a C team on any. We can turn them much faster.
It's in Apple's DNA that technology alone is not enough. That it's technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing.
People think...that the designers are handed this box and told,"Make it look good!"That's not what we think design is. It's not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.
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 done and whoever you were and throw them away.
Look at the Mercedes design, the proportion of sharp detail to flowing lines. Over the years they've made the design softer but the details starker. That's what we have to do with the Macintosh.
There's a very strong DNA within Apple, and that's about taking state-of-the-art technology and making it easy for people...people who don't want to read manuals, people who live very busy lives.
My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better. How? Just by coming up with more aggressive visions of how it could be.
All we are is our ideas, our people. That's what keeps us going to work in the morning, to hang around these great bright people. I've always thought that recruiting is the heart and soul of what we do.
We designed iMac to deliver the things consumers care about most—the excitement of the Internet and the simplicity of the Mac. iMac is next year's computer for $1,299, not last year's computer for $999.
We don't think that televisions and personal computers are going to merge. We think basically you watch television to turn your brain off, and you work on your computer when you want to turn your brain on.
I am saddened, not by Microsoft's success—I have no problem with their success. They've earned their success, for the most part. I have a problem with the fact that they just make really third-rate products.
I wanted to live in a normal place where the kids could walk, the kids could go over to other people's houses. And I did not want to live that nutso lavish lifestyle that so many people do when they get rich.
There's an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love."I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been." And we've always tried to do that at Apple. Since the very, very beginning. And we always will.
The system is that there is no system. That doesn't mean we don't have process. Apple is a very disciplined company, and we have great processes. But that's not what it's about. Process makes you more efficient.
I'm sorry, it's true. Having children really changes your view on these things. We're born, we live for a brief instant, and we die. It's been happening for a long time. Technology is not changing it much—if at all.
When we create stuff, we do it because we listen to customers, get their inputs and also throw in what we'd like to see, too. We cook up new products. You never really know if people will love them as much as you do.
Believe that things will work out somehow, follow your intuition and curiosity, and trust your heart even when it leads you off the well-worn path. You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.
[Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center] didn't have it totally right, but they had the germ of the idea of all three things. And the three things were: graphical user interfaces, object-oriented computing, and networking.
Music companies make more money when they sell a song on iTunes than when they sell a CD. If they want to raise prices, it's because they're greedy. If the price goes up, people turn back to piracy—and everybody loses.
I think the artistry is in having an insight into what one sees around them. Generally putting things together in a way no one else has before and finding a way to express that to other people who don't have that insight.
My position coming back to Apple was that our industry was in a coma. It reminded me of Detroit in the seventies, when American cars were boats on wheels. That's why we have a really good chance to be a serious player again.
One company makes the software. The other makes the hardware...It's not working. The innovation can't happen fast enough. The integration isn't seamless enough. No one takes responsibility for the user interface. It's a mess.
We've reviewed the road map of new products and axed more than 70 percent of them, keeping the 30 percent that were gems. The product teams at Apple are very excited. There's so much low-hanging fruit, it's easy to turn around.
When I got back here in 1997 I was looking for more room, and I found an archive of old Macs and other stuff. I shipped all that off to Stanford. lf you look backward in this business, you'll be crushed. You have to look forward.
We said: We don't see how you can convince people to stop being thieves, unless you can offer them a carrot—not just a stick. And the carrot is: We're gonna offer you a better experience...and it's only gonna cost you a dollar a song.
Most of us can't wait to get to work in the morning. But it's not like Apple has somehow morphed into a mass-market consumer electronics company. Our DNA hasn't changed. It's that mass-market consumer electronics is turning into Apple.
A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets.
We make tools for people. Tools to create, tools to communicate. The age we're living in, these tools surprise you.... That's why I love what we do. Because we make these tools, and we're constantly surprised with what people do with them.
We talk about social networks in the plural, but I don't see anybody other than Facebook out there. Just Facebook. They are dominating this. I admire Mark Zuckerberg...for not selling out, for wanting to make a company. I admire that a lot.
Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it.
The trouble with Apple is it succeeded beyond its wildest dreams. We succeeded so well, we got everyone else to dream the same dream. The rest of the world became just like it. The trouble is, the dream didn't evolve. Apple stopped creating.
I was worth about over a million dollars when I was twenty-three and over ten million dollars when I was twenty-four and over a hundred million dollars when I was twenty-five, and it wasn't that important because I never did it for the money.
As technology becomes more complex, Apple's core strength of knowing how to make very sophisticated technology comprehensible to mere mortals is in even greater demand. The Dells of the world don't spend money; they don't think about these things.
Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything... One is very fortunate if you get to work on just one of these in your career. Apple's been very fortunate it's been able to introduce a few of these into the world.
I'm sure there will always be dedicated devices, and they may have a few advantages in doing just one thing. But I think the general-purpose devices will win the day. Because I think people just probably aren't willing to pay for a dedicated device.
It pained us to see the music companies and the technology companies basically threatening to take each other to court and all this other crazy stuff. So we thought that rather than sit around and throw stones, we'd actually do something about this.
What Apple is, is it's an environment where we can attract the best and the brightest people to come together and sort of have a common vision about how we can change the world, and it's very rare that we can actually put something back into the world.
I'll always stay connected with Apple. I hope that throughout my life I'll 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'll always come back.
We weren't going to find a place where we could go for a month to be enlightened. It was one of the first times I started thinking that maybe Thomas Edison did a lot more to improve the world than Karl Marx and [Hindu guru] Neem Karoli Baba put together.
I'm always keeping my eyes open for the next big opportunity, but the way the world is now, it will take enormous resources, both in money and in engineering talent, to make it happen. I don't know what that next big thing might be, but I have a few ideas.
Playboy Magazine: What about Epson and some of the Japanese computer makers? JOBS: I've said it before: The Japanese have hit the shores like dead fish. They're just like dead fish washing up on the shores. The Epson has been a failure in this marketplace.
[it was] ...absurd that American classrooms were still based on teachers standing at a board and using textbooks. All books, learning materials, and assessments should be digital and interactive, tailored to each student and providing feedback in real time.
What happens in most companies is that you don't keep great people under working environments where individual accomplishment is discouraged rather than encouraged. The great people leave and you end up with mediocrity. I know, because that's how Apple was built.
The most compelling reason for most people to buy a computer for the home will be to link it to a nationwide communications network. We're just in the beginning stages of what will be a truly remarkable breakthrough for most people––as remarkable as the telephone.
We've pioneered the whole medium of computer animation, but John [Lasseter] once said—and this really stuck with me—"No amount of technology will turn a bad story into a good story.". .. That dedication to quality is really ingrained in the culture of this studio.
I was very lucky to have grown up with this industry. I did everything in the early days—documentation, sales, supply chain, sweeping the floors, buying chips, you name it. I put computers together with my own two hands. And as the industry grew up, I kept on doing it.
I feel like somebody just punched me in the stomach and knocked all my wind out. I'm only 30 years old and I want to have a chance to continue creating things. I know I've got at least one more great computer in me. And Apple is not going to give me a chance to do that.
The place where Apple has been standing for the last two decades is exactly where computer technology and the consumer electronics markets are converging. So it's not like we're having to cross the river to go somewhere else; the other side of the river is coming to us.
The people who go to see our movies are trusting us with something very important—their time and their imagination. So in order to respect that trust, we have to keep changing; we have to challenge ourselves and try to surprise our audiences with something new every time.
The desktop metaphor was invented because one, you were a stand-alone device, and two, you had to manage your own storage. That's a very big thing in a desktop world. And that may go away. You may not have to manage your own storage. You may not store much before too long.
So when these people sell out, even though they get fabulously rich, they're gypping themselves out of one of the potentially most rewarding experiences of their unfolding lives. Without it, they may never know their values or how to keep their newfound wealth in perspective.
But if we put our store in a mall or on a street that they're walking by, and we reduce that risk from a 20-minute drive to 20 footsteps, then they're more likely to go in because there's really no risk. So we decided to put our stores in high- traffic locations. And it works.
Some people say,"Oh, God, if [Jobs] got run over by a bus, Apple would be in trouble."And, you know, I think it wouldn't be a party, but there are really capable people at Apple. My job is to make the whole executive team good enough to be successors, so that's what I try to do.
There's a porn store for Android that you can go to, and it's got nothing but porn apps for your Android phone. And you can download them, and your kids can download them, and your kids' friends can download them on their phones. And that's just not the place where we want to go.
If, for some reason, we make some giant mistakes and IBM wins, my personal feeling is that we are going to enter sort of a computer Dark Ages for about 20 years. Once IBM gains control of a market sector, they almost always stop innovation. They prevent innovation from happening.
It takes these very simple-minded instructions—'Go fetch a number, add it to this number, put the result there, perceive if it's greater than this other number'––but executes them at a rate of, let's say, 1,000,000 per second. At 1,000,000 per second, the results appear to be magic.
When you're young, you look at television and think, there's a conspiracy. The networks have conspired to dumb us down. But when you get a little older, you realize that's not true. The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want. That's a far more depressing thought.
A lot of people in our industry haven't had very diverse experiences. So they don't have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one's understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.
I met Woz when I was 13, at a friend's garage. He was about 18. He was, like, the first person I met who knew more electronics than I did at that point. We became good friends, because we shared an interest in computers and we had a sense of humor. We pulled all kinds of pranks together.
People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the 100 other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I'm actually as proud of many of the things we haven't done as the things we have done.
There are some customers which we chose not to serve. We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk, and our DNA will not let us ship that. But we can continue to deliver greater and greater value to those customer that we choose to serve. And there's a lot of them.
It [Zen Buddhism] places value on experience versus intellectual understanding. I saw a lot of people contemplating things but it didn't seem to lead to too many places. I got very interested in people who had discovered something more significant than an intellectual, abstract understanding.
We think the Mac will sell zillions, but we didn't build the Mac for anybody else. We built it for ourselves. We were the group of people who were going to judge whether it was great or not. We weren't going to go out and do market research. We just wanted to build the best thing we could build.
I read something Bill Gates said about six months ago. He said, "I worked really, really hard in my twenties." And I know what he means, because I worked really, really hard in my twenties too. Seven days a week, lots of hours every day. But you can't do it forever. You don't want to do it forever.
[Technology] doesn't change the world. It really doesn't. Technologies can make it easier, can let us touch people we might not otherwise. But it's a disservice to constantly put things in a radical new light, that it's going to change everything. Things don't have to change the world to be important.
You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.... Don't settle.
I think it's brought the world a lot closer together, and will continue to do that. There are downsides to everything; there are unintended consequences to everything. The most corrosive piece of technology that I've ever seen is called television—but then, again, television, at its best, is magnificent.
This transformations going to make some people uneasy—people from the PCworld, like you and me. it's going to make us uneasy because the PC has taken us a long way—it's brilliant. And we like to talk about the post-PC era, but when it really starts to happen, I think it's uncomfortable for a lot of people.
We have a lot of customers, and we have a lot of research into our installed base. We also watch industry trends pretty carefully. But in the end, for something this complicated, it's really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them.
I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.
My model for business is the Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other's kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That's how I see business: great things in business are never done by one person, they're done by a team of people.
I'd never been so tired in my life. I'd come home at about ten o'clock at night and flop straight into bed, then haul myself out at six the next morning and take a shower and go to work. My wife deserves all the credit for keeping me at it. She supported me and kept the family together with a husband in absentia.
You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something—your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
I was in the parking lot, with the key in the car, and I thought to myself, 'If this is my last night on earth, would I rather spend it at a business meeting or with this woman?' I ran across the parking lot, asked her if she'd have dinner with me. She said yes, we walked into town and we've been together ever since.
Things happen fairly slowly, you know. They do. These waves of technology, you can see them way before they happen, and you just have to choose wisely which ones you're going to surf. If you choose unwisely, then you can waste a lot of energy, but if you choose wisely it actually unfolds fairly slowly. It takes years.
I received a letter from a six-and-a-half-year-old boy a few months ago which to me completely sums up what we've accomplished in the last few years. And it reads: "Dear Mr. Jobs: I was doing a crossword puzzle and a clue was "as American as apple blank." I thought the answer was computer, but my Mom said it was pie."
Welcome, IBM. Seriously... And congratulations on your first personal computer. Putting real computing power in the hands of the individual is already improving the way people work, think, learn, communicate, and spend their leisure hours. Computer literacy is fast becoming as fundamental a skill as reading or writing.
It's painful when you have some people who are not the best people in the world and you have to get rid of them; but I found that my job has sometimes exactly been that, to get rid of some people who didn't measure up, and I've always tried to do it in a humane way. But nonetheless it has to be done and it is never fun.
As you've pointed out I've helped with more computers in more schools than anybody else in the world and I'm absolutely convinced that is by no means the most important thing. The most important thing is a person. A person who incites and feeds your curiosity; and machines cannot do that in the same way that people can.
Apple has a core set of talents, and those talents are: We do, I think, very good hardware design; we do very good industrial design; and we write very good system and application software. And we're really good at packaging that all together into a product. We're the only people left in the computer industry who do that.
We did iTunes because we all love music. We made what we thought was the best jukebox in iTunes. Then we all wanted to carry our whole music libraries around with us. The team worked really hard. And the reason that they worked so hard is because we all wanted one. You know? I mean, the first few hundred customers were us.
The problem is, in hardware you can't build a computer that's twice as good as anyone else's anymore. Too many people know how to do it. You're lucky if you do one that's one-and-a-third times better or one-and-a-half times better. And then it's only six months before everybody else catches up. But you can do it in software.
In most people's vocabularies, design means veneer. It's interior decorating. It's the fabric of the curtains and the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.
Picasso had a saying: "Good artists copy, great artists steal." We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas...I think part of what made the Macintosh great was that the people working on it were musicians, poets, artists, zoologists and historians who also happened to be the best computer scientists in the world.
Pixar's got by far and away the best computer graphics talent in the entire world, and it now has the best animation and artistic talent in the whole world to do these kinds of film. There's really no one else in the world who could do this stuff. It's really phenomenal. We're probably close to ten years ahead of anybody else.
Woz and I very much liked Bob Dylan's poetry, and we spent a lot of time thinking about a lot of that stuff. This was California. You could get LSD fresh made from Stanford. You could sleep on the beach at night with your girlfriend. California has a sense of experimentation and a sense of openness—openness to new possibilities.
What I found when I got here was a zillion and one products. It was amazing. And I started to ask people, now why would I recommend a 3400 over a 4400? When should somebody jump up to a 6500, but not a 7300? And after three weeks, I couldn't figure this out. If I couldn't figure this out, how could our customers figure this out?
It's not about pop culture, and it's not about fooling people, and it's not about convincing people that they want something they don't. We figure out what they want. And I think we're pretty good at having the right discipline to think through whether a lot of other people are going to want it, too. That's what we get paid to do.
Unfortunately, that's too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven't had very diverse experiences. So they don't have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one's understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.
What we do at Apple is very simple: We invent stuff. We make the best personal computers in the world, some of the best software, the best portable MP3/music player, and now we make the best online music store in the world. We just make stuff. So I don't know what impresario means. We make stuff, put it out there, and people use it.
You need a very product-oriented culture, even in a technology company. Lots of companies have tons of great engineers and smart people. But ultimately, there needs to be some gravitational force that pulls it all together. Otherwise, you can get great pieces of technology all floating around the universe. But it doesn't add up to much.
Everybody was so dedicated to it and loved Toy Story and those characters so much, and loved the new movie so much, that we killed ourselves to make it. It took some people a year to recover. It was tough—it was too tough, but we did it. Now enough time has passed that we can look back on that and we're glad we did it. But it was tough.
We've never worried about numbers. In the marketplace, Apple is trying to focus the spotlight on products, because products really make a difference. Ad campaigns are necessary for competition; IBM's ads are everywhere. But good PR educates people; that's all it is. You can't con people in this business. The product speak for themselves.
I don't think you'll be able to boot up any computer today in 20 years. [But] Snow White has sold 28 million copies, and it's a 60-year-old production. People don't read Herodotus or Homer to their kids anymore, but everybody watches movies. These are our myths today. Disney puts those myths into our culture, and hopefully Pixar will, too.
You know, my main reaction to this money thing is that it's humorous, all the attention to it, because it's hardly the most insightful or valuable thing that's happened to me in the past ten years. But it makes me feel old, sometimes, when I speak at a campus and I find that what students are most in awe of the fact that I'm a millionaire.
We have a major opportunity to influence where Apple is going. As everyday passes, the work fifty people are doing here is going to send a giant ripple through the universe. I am really impressed with the quality of our ripple. I know I might be a little hard to get on with, but this is the most fun l've had in my life. I'm having a blast.
We attract a different type of person—a person who doesn't want to wait five or ten years to have someone take a giant risk on him or her. Someone who really wants to get in a little over his head and make a little dent in the universe.... Everyone here has the sense that right now is one of those moments when we are influencing the future.
Things became much more clear that they were the results of human creation, not these magical things that just appeared in one's environment, that one had no knowledge of their interiors. It gave a tremendous level of self-confidence, that through exploration and learning one could understand seemingly very complex things in one's environment.
If Apple becomes a place where computers are a commodity item, where the romance is gone, and where people forget that computers are the most incredible invention that man has ever invented, I'll feel [have lost Apple. But if]'m a million miles away, and all those people still feel those things...then I will feel that my genes are still there.
What Apple has always stood for is product innovation. Apple invented this industry with the Apple II and I think the Mac has provided the innovation that much of the industry has been living out of for the last 10 years. And it's time for someone to come up with some new innovation to drive the industry forward, and who better to do that than Apple.
We had the hardware expertise, the industrial design expertise and the software expertise, including iTunes. One of the biggest insights we have was that we decided not to try to manage your music library on the iPod, but to manage it in iTunes. Other companies tried to do everything on the device itself and made it so complicated that it was useless.
When I hire somebody really senior, competence is the ante. They have to be really smart. But the real issue for me is, Are they going to fall in love with Apple? Because if they fall in love with Apple, everything else will take care of itself. They'll want to do what's best for Apple, not what's best for them, what's best for Steve, or anybody else.
It's insane: We all have busy lives, we have jobs, we have interests, and some of us have children. Everyone's lives are just getting busier, not less busy, in this busy society. You just don't have time to learn this stuff, and everything's getting more complicated.... We both don't have a lot of time to learn how to use a washing machine or a phone.
Objective: I'm looking for a fixer-upper with a solid foundation. Am willing to tear down walls. build bridges, and light fires. [ have great experience, lots of energy, a bit of that "vision thing" and I'm not afraid to start from the beginning. Skills: That "vision thing," public speaking, motivating teams, and helping to create really amazing products.
It was clear to me that for every hardware hobbyist who wanted to assemble his own computer, there were a thousand people who couldn't do that but wanted to mess around with programming...just like I did when I was 10. My dream for the Apple II was to sell the first real packaged computer...I got a bug up my rear that I wanted the computer in a plastic case.
What if Apple didn't exist? Think about it. Time [magazine] wouldn't get published next week. Some 70% of the newspapers in the U.S. wouldn't publish tomorrow morning. Some 60% of the kids wouldn't have computers; 64% of the teachers wouldn't have computers. More than half the websites created on Macs wouldn't exist. So there's something worth saving here. See?
So we went to Atari and said, "Hey, we've got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we'll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we'll come work for you." And they said, "No." So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, "Hey, we don't need you. You haven't got through college yet."'
A computer is the most incredible tool we've ever seen. It can be a writing tool, a communications center, a super calculator, a planner, a filter, and an artistic instrument all in one, just by being given new instructions, or software, to work from. There are no other tools that have the power and versatility of a computer. We have no idea how far it's going to go.
Once you get into the problem...you see that it's complicated, and you come up with all these convoluted solutions. That's where most people stop, and the solutions tend to work for a while. But the really great person will keep going, find the underlying problem, and come up with an elegant solution that works on every level. That's what we wanted to do with the Mac.
Ahead of its time, a commercial bust: The G4 Cube is simply the coolest computer ever. An entirely new class of computer, it marries the Pentium-crushing performance of the Power Mac G4 with the miniaturization, silent operation and elegant desktop design of the iMac. It is an amazing engineering and design feat, and we're thrilled to finally unveil it to our customers.
This is not a one-man show. There's a lot of really talented people in this company who listened to the world tell them they were losers for a couple of years, and some of them were on the verge of starting to believe it themselves. But they're not losers. What they didn't have was a good set of coaches, a good plan. A good senior management team. But they have that now.
When we first started Apple we really built the first computer because we wanted one. We designed this crazy new computer with color and a whole bunch of other things called the Apple II which you have probably heard about. We had a passion to do this one simple thing which was to get a bunch of computers to our friends so they could have as much fun with them as we were.
That's simply untrue. As soon as we can lower prices, we do. It's true that our computers are less expensive today than they were a few years ago, or even last year. But that's also true of the IBM PC. Our goal is to get computers out to tens of millions of people, and the cheaper we can make them, the easier it's going to be to do that. I'd love it if Macintosh cost $1,000.
Innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we've been thinking about a problem. It's ad hoc meetings of six people called by someone who thinks he has figured out the coolest new thing ever and who wants to know what other people think of his idea.
It makes your camcorder worth ten times as much because you can convert raw footage into an incredible movie with transitions, cross dissolves, credits, soundtracks. You can convert raw footage that you'd normally never look at again on your camcorder into an incredibly emotional piece of communication. Professional. Personal. It's amazing...it has ten times as much value to you.
But innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we've been thinking about a problem. It's ad hoc meetings of six people called by someone who thinks he has figured out the coolest new thing ever and who wants to know what other people think of his idea.
I think it's quite a natural curiosity for adopted people to want to understand where certain traits come from. But I'm mostly an environmentalist. I think the way you are raised and your values and most of your world view come from the experiences you had as you grew up. But some things aren't accounted for that way. I think it's quite natural to have a curiosity about it. And I did.
Bill [Gates] built the first software company in the industry. And I think he built the first software company before anyone in our industry knew what a software company was, and that was huge. And the business model they ended up pursuing ended up working real well. Bill was focused on software before anyone else had a clue. There's a lot more you can say, but that's the high-order bit.
Basically they were copier heads that just had no clue about a computer or what it could do. And so they just grabbed defeat from the greatest victory in the computer industry. Xerox could have owned the entire computer industry today. Could have been, you know, a company ten times its size. Could have been IBM —could have been the IBM of the nineties. Could have been the Microsoft of the nineties.
There have only been two milestone products in our industry: the Apple II in 197 and the IBM PC in 1981. Today, one year after Lisa, we are introducing the third industry milestone product: Macintosh. Many of us have been working on Macintosh for over two years now, and it has turned out insanely great. Until no you've just seen some pictures of Macintosh. Now I'd like to show you Mcintosh in person.
I'm convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance. Unless you have a lot of passion about this, you're not going to survive. You're going to give it up. So you've got to have an idea, or a problem or a wrong that you want to right that you're passionate about; otherwise, you're not going to have the perseverance to stick it through.
We just wanted to build the best thing we could build. When you're a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you're not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You'll know it's there, so you're going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.
The things I'm most proud about at Apple is where the technical and the humanistic come together, as it did in publishing. The typographic artistry coupled with the technical understanding and excellence to implement that electronically came together and empowered people to use the computer without having to understand arcane computer commands. It was the combination of those two things that I'm the most proud of.
So what we do every Monday is we review the whole business. We look at what we sold the week before. We look at every single product under development, products we're having trouble with, products where the demand is larger than we can make. All the stuff in development, we review. And we do it every single week. I put out an agenda-80% is the same as it was the last week, and we just walk down it every single week.
Many times in an interview I will purposely upset someone: I'll criticize their prior work. I'll do my homework, find out what they worked on, and say,"God, that really turned out to be a bomb. That really turned out to be a bozo product. Why did you work on that?..." I want to see what people are like under pressure. I want to see if they just fold or if they have firm conviction, belief, and pride in what they did.
I still don't understand it. It's a large responsibility to have more than you can spend in your lifetime—and I feel I have to spend it. If you die, you certainly don't want to leave a large amount to your children. It will just ruin their lives. The challenges are to figure out how to live with it and to reinvest it back into the world, which means either giving it away or using it to express your concerns or values.
At Apple we gave all our employees stock options very early on. We were among the first in Silicon Valley to do that. And when I returned, I took away most of the cash bonuses and replaced them with options. No cars, no planes, no bonuses. Basically, everybody gets a salary and stock.. .. It's a very egalitarian way to run a company that Hewlett-Packard pioneered and that Apple, I would like to think, helped establish.
Apple is in a pretty interesting position. Because, as you may know, almost every song and CD is made on a Mac—it's recorded on a Mac, it's mixed on a Mac, the artwork done on a Mac. Almost every artist I've met has an iPod, and most of the, music execs now have iPods. And one of the reasons Apple was able to do what we have done was because we are perceived by the music industry as the most creative technology company.
When you work with somebody that close and you go through experiences like the ones we went through, there's a bond in life. Whatever hassles you have, there is a bond. And even though he may not be your best friend as time goes on, and there's still something that transcends even friendship, in a way. Woz is living his own life now. He hasn't been around Apple for about five years. But what he did will go down in history.
And how are monopolies lost? Think about it. Some very good product people invent some very good products, and the company achieves a monopoly. But after that, the product people aren't the ones that drive the company forward anymore. it's the marketing guys or the ones who expand the business into Latin America or whatever... So a different group of people start to move up. And who usually ends up running the show? The sales guy.
Mobile devices are really important to people. It's not like this is an obscure product category that affects just a small part of the population. People have seen in the demos and our ads something they instantly know they can figure out how to use. People throw technology at us constantly, and most of us say "I don't have time to figure that out." Most of us have experiences with our current mobile phones and can't figure them out.
A neighbor down the block named Larry Lang was an engineer at Hewlett- Packard. He spent a lot of time with me, teaching me stuff. The first computer I ever saw was at Hewlett-Packard. They used to invite maybe 10 of us down every Tuesday night and give us lectures and let us work with a computer. I was maybe 12 the first time. I remember the night. They showed us one of their new desktop computers and let us play on it. I wanted one badly.
Adam Osborne is always dumping on Apple. He was going on and on about Lisa, and when we would ship Lisa, and then he started joking about Mac. I was trying to keep my cool and be polite but he kept asking, "What's this Mac we're hearing about? Is it real?" He started getting under my collar so much that I told him, "Adam, it's so good that even after it puts your company out of business, you'll still want to go out and buy it for your kids."
You're missing it. This is not a one-man show. What's reinvigorating this company is two things: One, there's a lot of really talented people in this company who listened to the world tell them they were losers for a couple of years, and some of them were on the verge of starting to believe it themselves. But they're not losers. What they didn't have was a good set of coaches, a good plan. A good senior management team. But they have that now.
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.
You saw the 1984 commercial. Macintosh was basically this relatively small company in Cupertino, California, taking on the goliath, IBM, and saying "Wait a minute, your way is wrong. This is not the way we want computers to go. This is not the legacy we want to leave. This is not what we want our kids to be learning. This is wrong and we are going to show you the right way to do it and here it is. It's called Macintosh and it is so much better."
There's nothing that makes my day more than getting an email from some random person in the universe who just bought an iPad over in the UK and tells me the story about how it's the coolest product they've ever brought home in their lives. That's what keeps me going. It's what kept me [going] five years ago, it's what kept me going 10 years ago when the doors were almost closed. And if<_ what will keep me going five years from now whatever happens.
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?"And whenever the answer has been no for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they've had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.
What are the great brands? Levi's, Coke, Disney, Nike. Most people would put Apple in that category. You could spend billions of dollars building a brand not as good as Apple. Yet Apple hasn't been doing anything with this incredible asset. What is Apple, after all? Apple is about people who think "outside the box," people who want to use computers to help them change the world, to help them create things that make a difference, and not just to get a job done.
John Sculley ruined Apple, and he ruined it by bringing a set of values to the top of Apple which were corrupt and corrupted some of the top people who were there, drove out some of the ones who were not corruptible, and brought in more corrupt ones and paid themselves collectively tens of millions of dollars and cared more about their own glory and wealth than they did about what built Apple in the first place—which was making great computers for people to use.
The thing I don't think is good is that I don't believe Microsoft has transformed itself into an agent for improving things, an agent for coming up with the next revolution. The Japanese, for example, used to be accused of just copying—and indeed, in the beginning, that's just what they did. But they got quite a bit more sophisticated and started to innovate—look at automobiles, they certainly innovated quite a bit there. I can't say the same thing about Microsoft.
I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come....I believe Apple's brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role. I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.
I get asked a lot why Apple's customers are so loyal. It's not because they belong to the Church of Mac! That's ridiculous. It's because when you buy our products, and three months later you get stuck on something, you quickly figure out [how to get past it]. And you think, "Wow, someone over there at Apple actually thought of this!". . .. There's almost no product in the world that you have that experience with, but you have it with a Mac. And you have it with an iPod.
Apple's the only company left in this industry that designs the whole widget. Hardware, software, developer relations, marketing. It turns out that that, in my opinion, is Apple's greatest strategic advantage. We didn't have a plan, so it looked like this was a tremendous deficit. But with a plan, it's Apple's core strategic advantage, if you believe that there's still room for innovation in this industry, which I do, because Apple can't innovate faster than anyone else.
I'm an optimist in the sense that I believe humans are noble and honourable, and some of them are really smart. I have a very optimistic view of individuals. As individuals, people are inherently good. I have a somewhat more pessimistic view of people in groups. And I remain extremely concerned when I see what's happening in our country, which is in many ways the luckiest place in the world. We don't seem to be excited about making our country a better place for our kids.
There's a classic thing in business, which is the second-product syndrome. Often companies that have a really successful first product don't quite understand why that product was so successful. And so with the second product, their ambitions grow and they get much more grandiose, and their second product fails. They fail to get it out, or it fails to resonate with the marketplace because they really didn't understand why their first product resonated with the marketplace.
If you go out and ask people what's wrong with computers today, they'll tell you they're really complicated, they have a zillion cables coming out of the back, they're really big and noisy, they're really ugly, and they take forever to get on the Internet. And so we tried to set out to fix those problems with products like the iMac. I mean, the iMac is the only desktop computer that comes in only one box. You can set it up and be surfing the Internet in 15 minutes or less.
This is what customers pay us for—to sweat all these details so it's easy and pleasant for them to use our computers. We're supposed to be really good at this. That doesn't mean we don't listen to customers, but it's hard for them to tell you what they want when they've never seen anything remotely like it. Take desktop video editing. I never got one request from someone who wanted to edit movies on his computer. Yet now that people see it, they say, "Oh my God, that's great!"
None of this technology that you're talking about is gonna work. We have PhDs here that know the stuff cold, and we don't believe it's possible to protect digital content.... What's new is this amazingly efiicient distribution system for stolen property called the Internet—and no one's gonna shut down the Internet. And it only takes one stolen copy to be on the Internet. And the way we expressed it to them is: Pick one lock—open any door. It only takes one person to pick a lock.
These technologies can make life easier, can let us touch people we might not otherwise. You may have a child with a birth defect and be able to get in touch with other parents and support groups, get medical information, the latest experimental drugs. These things can profoundly influence life. I'm not downplaying that. But it's a disservice to constantly put things in this radical new light—that it's going to change everything. Things don't have to change the world to be important.
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it's really how it works. The design of the Mac wasn't what it looked like, although that was part of it. Primarily, it was how it worked. To design something really well, you have to get it. You have to really grok what it's all about. It takes a passionate commitment to really thoroughly understand something, chew it up, not just quickly swallow it. Most people don't take the time to do that.
The people who are doing the work are the moving force behind the Macintosh. My job is to create a space for them, to clear out the rest of the organization and keep it at bay.... This is the neatest group of people I've ever worked with. They're all exceptionally bright, but more importantly they share a quality about the way they look at life, which is that the journey is the reward. They really want to see this product out in the world. It's more important than their personal lives right now.
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything —all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just 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.
In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of ]une. I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for Apple's day to day operations, and I know he and the rest of the executive management team will do a great job. As CEO, I plan to remain involved in major strategic decisions while I am out. Our board of directors fully supports this plan.
At Apple, there are ten really important decisions to make every week. It's a transactional company: it's got a lot of new products every month. And if some of those decisions are wrong, maybe you can fix them a few months later. At Pixar, because I'm not directing the movies, there are just a few really important strategic decisions to make every month, maybe even every quarter, but they're really hard to change. Pixar's much slower-paced. But you can't change your mind when you go down these paths.
Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is 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 ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.
[The loss of old companies is] inevitably what happens. That's why I think death is the most wonderful invention of life. It purges the system of these old models that are obsolete. I think that's one of Apple's challenges, really. When two young people walk in with the next thing, are we going to embrace it and say this is fantastic? Are we going to be willing to drop our models, or are we going to explain it away? I think we'll do better, because we're completely aware of it and we make it a priority.
What's really interesting is if you look at the reason that the iPod exists and that Apple's in that marketplace, it's because these really great Japanese consumer electronic companies who kind of own the portable music market, invented it and owned it, couldn't do the appropriate software, couldn't conceive of and implement the appropriate software. Because an iPod's really just software. It's software in the iPod itself, it's software on the PC or the Mac, and it's software in the cloud for the store.
When I was 12 or 13, I wanted to build something and I needed some parts, so I picked up the phone and called Bill Hewlett—he was listed in the Palo Alto phone book. He answered the phone and he was real nice. He chatted with me for, like, 20 minutes. He didn't know me at all, but he ended up giving me some parts, and he got me a job that summer working at Hewlett-Packard on the line, assembling frequency counters. "Assembling" may be too strong. I was putting in screws. It didn't matter; I was in heaven.
Some people are saying that we ought to put an IBM PC on every desk in America to improve productivity. It won't work. The special incantations you have to learn this time are the"slash q-zs" and things like that. The manual for WordStar, the most popular word-processing program, is 400 pages thick. To write a novel, you have to read a novel—one that reads like a mystery to most people. They're not going to learn slash q-z any more than they're going to learn Morse code. That is what Macintosh is all about.
It is now 19 S4. It appears IBM wants it all. Apple is perceived to be the only hope to ofier IBM a run for its money. Dealers initially welcoming IBM with open arms now fear an IBM dominated and controlled future. They are increasingly turning back to Apple as the only force that can ensure their future freedom. IBM wants it all, and is aiming its guns on its last obstacle to industry control: Apple. Will "Big Blue" dominate the entire computer industry? The entire information age? Was George Orwell right?
Bottom line is, I didn't return to Apple to make a fortune. I've been very lucky in my life and already have one. When I was 25, my net worth was $100 million. I decided then that I wasn't going to let it ruin my life. There's no way you could ever spend it all, and I don't view wealth as something that validates my intelligence. I just wanted to see if we could work together to turn this thing around when the company was literally on the verge of bankruptcy. The decision to go without pay has served me well.
At Apple we come at everything asking, "How easy is this going to be for the user? How great it is going to be for the user?" After that, it's like at Pixar. Everyone in Hollywood says the key to good animated movies is story, story, story. But when it really gets down to it, when the story isn't working, they will not stop production and spend more money and get the story right. That's what I see about the software business. Everybody says, "Oh, the user is the most important thing," but nobody else really does it.
I was very lucky. My father, Paul, was a pretty remarkable man. He never graduated from high school. He was a machinist by trade and worked very hard and was kind of a genius with his hands. He had a workbench out in his garage where, when I was about five or six, he sectioned off a little piece of it and said, "Steve, this is your workbench now." And he gave me some of his smaller tools and showed me how to use a hammer and saw and how to build things. It really was very good for me. He spent a lot of time with me.
Originally, we weren't exactly sure how to market the [iPod] Touch. Was it an iPhone without the phone? Was it a pocket computer? What happened was, what customers told us was, they started to see it as a game machine. We started to market it that way, and it just took off. And now what we really see is it's the lowest-cost way to the App Store, and that's the big draw. So what we were focused on is just reducing the price to $199. We don't need to add new stuff. We need to get the price down where everyone can afford it.
We spent some time in our family talking about what's the trade-off we want to make. We ended up talking a lot about design, but also about the values of our family. Did we care most about getting our wash done in an hour versus an hour and a half? Or did we care most about our clothes feeling really soft and lasting longer? Did we care about using a quarter of the water? We spent two weeks talking about this every night at the dinner table. We'd get around to that old washer-dryer discussion. And the talk was about design.
Recruiting is hard. It's just finding the needles in the haystack. We do it ourselves and we spend a lot of time at it. I've participated in the hiring of maybe 5,000-plus people in my life. So I take it very seriously. You can't know enough in a one-hour interview. So, in the end, it's ultimately based on your gut. How do I feel about this person? What are they like when they're challenged? Why are they here? I asl everybody that: "Why are you here?" The answers themselves are not what you're looking for. It's the meta-data.
The most important thing is a person. A person who incites your curiosity and feeds your curiosity; and machines cannot do that in the same way that people can. The elements of discovery are all around you. You don't need a computer. Here—why does that fall? You know why? Nobody in the entire world knows why that falls. We can describe it pretty accurately but no one knows why. I don't need a computer to get a kid interested in that, to spend a week playing with gravity and trying to understand that and come up with reasons why.
Sometimes I believe in God, sometimes I don't. I think it's fifty-fifty maybe. But ever since I've had cancer, I've been thinking about it more. And I find myself believing a bit more. I kind of—maybe it's 'cause I want to believe in an afterlife. That when you die, it doesn't just all disappear. The wisdom you've accumulated. Somehow it lives on. [after a pause]... Yeah, but sometimes I think it's just like an on-off switch. Click and you're gone. [another pause] And that's why I don't like putting on-off switches on Apple devices.
I wasn't aware that Apple owned me, you know. I don't think they do. I think that I own me. And for me not to be able to practice my craft ever again in my life seems odd. We're not going to take any technology, any proprietary ideas out of Apple. We're willing to put that in writing. It's the law, anyway. There is nothing, by the way, that says Apple can't compete with us if they think what we're doing is such a great idea. It's hard to think that a $2 billion company with 4,300+ people couldn't compete with six people in blue jeans.
Apple has some pretty amazing people, but the collection of people at Pixar is the highest concentration of remarkable people I have ever witnessed. There's a person who's got a Phd. in computer-generated plants—3D grass and trees and flowers. There's another who is the best in the world at putting imagery on film. Also, Pixar is more multidisciplinary than Apple ever will be. But the key thing is that it is much smaller. Pixar's got 450 people. You could never have the collection of people that Pixar has now if you went to two thousand people.
The remedy is to stop paying advances. The remedy is to go to a gross-revenues deal and to tell an artist: We'll give you 20 cents on every dollar we get...but we're not gonna give you an advance. The accounting will be simple: The more successful you are, the more you'll earn. But if you're not successful, you will not earn a dime. We'll go ahead and risk some marketing money on you, and we'll be out. But if you're not successful, you'll make no money—but if you are, you'll make a lot more. That's the way out. That's the way the rest of the world works.
We've got 25,000 people at Apple. About 10,000 of them are in the stores. And my job is to work with sort of the top 100 people, that's what I do. That doesn't mean they're all vice presidents. Some of them are just key individual contributors. So when a good idea comes, you know, part of my job is to move it around, just see what different people think, get people talking about it, argue with people about it, get ideas moving among that group of 100 people, get different people together to explore different aspects of it quietly, and, you know—just explore things.
We don't think one company can do everything. So you've got to partner with people that are really good at stuff. .. We're not trying to be great at search, so we partner with people who are great at search.... We know how to do the best map clients in the world, but we don't know how to do the back end, so we partner with people that know how to do the back end. And what we want to do is be that consumer's device and that consumer's experience wrapped around all this information and things we can deliver to them in a wonderful user interface, in a coherent product.
Look at the design of a lot of consumer products—they're really complicated surfaces. We tried to make something much more holistic and simple. When you first start off trying to solve a problem, the first solutions you come up with are very complex, and most people stop there. But if you keep going and live with the problem and peel more layers of the onion off, you can oftentimes arrive at some very elegant and simple solutions. Most people just don't put in the time no energy to get there. We believe that customers are smart and want objects which are well thought through.
I don't think I've ever worked so hard on something, but working on Macintosh was the neatest experience of my life. Almost everyone who worked on it will say that. None of us wanted to release it at the end. It was as though we knew that once it was out of our hands, it wouldn't be ours anymore. When we finally presented it at the shareholders' meeting, everyone in the auditorium gave it a five-minute ovation. What was incredible to me was that I could see the Mac team in the first few rows. It was as though none of us could believe we'd actually finished it. Everyone started crying.
We were very lucky—we grew up in a generation where music was an incredibly intimate part of that generation. More intimate than it had been, and maybe more intimate than it is today, because today there's a lot of other alternatives. We didn't have video games to play. We didn't have personal computers. There's so many other things competing for kids time now. But, nonetheless, music is really being reinvented in this digital age, and that is bringing it back into people's live! It's a wonderful thing. And in our own small way, that's how we're working to make the world a better place.
It was a great challenge. Let's make a great phone that we fall in love with. And we've got the technology. We've got the miniaturization from the iPod. We've got the sophisticated operating system from Mac. Nobody had ever thought about putting operating systems as sophisticated as OS X inside a phone, so that was a real question. We had a big debate inside the company whether we could do that or not. And that was one where I had to adjudicate it and just say, "We're going to do it. Let's try." The smartest software guys were saying they can do it, so let's give them a shot. And they did.
I used to be the youngest guy in every meeting I was in, and now I'm usually the oldest. And the older I get, the more I'm convinced that motives make so much difference. HP's primary goal was to make great products. And our primary goal here is to make the world's best PCs—not to be the biggest or the richest. We have a second goal, which is to always make a profit—both to make some money but also so we can keep making those great products. For a time, those goals got flipped at Apple, and that subtle change made all the difference. When I got back we had to make it a product company again.
What happened was, the designers came up with this really great idea. Then they take it to the engineers, and the engineers go, "Nah, we can't do that. That's impossible." And so it gets a lot worse. Then they take it to the manufacturing people, and they go, "We can't build that!" And it gets a lot worse.. .. Sure enough, when we took it to the engineers, they said, "Oh." And they came up with 38 reasons. And I said, "No, no, we're doing this." And they said, "Well, why?" And I said, "Because I'm the CEO and I think it can be done." And so they kind of begrudgingly did it. But then it was a big hit.
One of the things I learned at Pixar is the technology industries and the content industries do not understand each other. In Silicon Valley and at most technology companies, I swear that most people think the creative process is a bunch of guys in their early 30s, sitting on a couch, drinking beer and thinking of jokes. No, they really do. That's how television is made, they think; that's how movies are made. People in Hollywood and in the content industries, they think technology is something you just write a check for and buy. They don't understand the creativity element of technology. These are like ships passing in the night.
It makes me feel old, sometimes, when I speak at a campus and I find that what students are most in awe of is the fact that I'm a millionaire. When I went to school, it was right after the sixties and before this general wave of practical purposefulness had set in. Now students aren't even thinking in idealistic terms, or at least nowhere near as much. They certainly are not letting any of the philosophical issues of the day take up too much of their time as they study their business majors. The idealistic wind of the sixties was still at our backs, though, and most of the people I know who are my age have that ingrained in them forever.
Symantec recently highlighted Flash for having one of the worst security records in 2009. We also know firsthand that Flash is the number one reason Macs crash. We have been working with Adobe to fix these problems, but they have persisted for several years now. We don't want to reduce the reliability and security of our iPhones, iPods and iPads by adding Flash.... Flash was created during the PC era—for PCs and mice. Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low-power devices, touch interfaces, and open web standards — all areas where Flash falls short.
The problem with the Internet startup craze isn't that too many people are starting companies; it's that too many people aren't sticking with it. That's somewhat understandable, because there are many moments that are filled with despair and agony, when you have to fire people and cancel things and deal with- very difficult situations. That's when you find out who you are and what your values are. So when these people sell out, even though they get fabulously rich, they're gypping themselves out of one of the potentially most rewarding experiences of their unfolding lives. Without it, they may never know their values or how to keep their newfound wealth in perspective.
Apple is the most creative technology company out there—just like Pixar is the most technologically adept creative company.. .. Also, almost all recording artists use Macs and they have iPods, and now most of the music industry people have iPods as well. There's a trust in the music community that Apple will do something right—that it won't cut corners—and that it cares about the creative process and about the music. Also, our solution encompasses operating system software, server software, application software, and hardware. Apple is the only company in the world that has all that under one roof. We can invent a complete solution that works—and take responsibility for it.
I've never believed that they're separate. Leonardo da Vinci was a great artist and a great scientist. Michelangelo knew a tremendous amount about how to cut stone at the quarry. The finest dozen computer scientists I know are all musicians. Some are better than others, but they all consider that an important part of their life. I don't believe that the best people in any of these fields see themselves as one branch of a forked tree. I just don't see that. People bring these things together a lot. Dr. Land at Polaroid said, "I want Polaroid to stand at the intersection of art and science," and l've never forgotten that. I think that that's possible, and I think a lot of people have tried.
My mother taught me to read before I went to school, so I was pretty bored in school, and I turned into a little terror. You should have seen us in third grade. We basically destroyed our teacher. We would let snakes loose in the classroom and explode bombs. Things changed in the fourth grade, though. One of the saints it my life is this woman named Imogene Hill, who was a fourth-grade teacher who taught this advanced class. She got hip to my whole situation in about a month and kindled a passion in me for learning things. I learned more that year than I think I learned in any year in school. They wanted to put me in high school after that year, but my parents very wisely wouldn't let them.
Napster and Kazaa certainly demonstrated that the Internet was built perfectly for delivering music. The problem is they're illegal. And the services that have sprung up that were legal are pretty anemic in terms of the rights they offer you, and they kind of treat you like a criminal. You can't burn a CD, or you can't put it on your MP3 player. And so our idea was to come up with a music service where you don't have to subscribe to it. You can just buy music at 99 cents a song, and you have great digital—you have great rights to use it. You can burn as many CDs as you want for personal use, you can put it on your iPods, you can use it in your other applications, you can have it on multiple computers.
The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste. They have absolutely no taste. And what that means is, I don't mean that in a small way; I mean that in big way. In the sense that they don't think of original ideas and they don't bring much culture into their product, and you say why is that important? Well, you know proportionally spaced fonts come from typesetting and beautiful books. That's where one gets the idea. If it weren't for the Mac, they would never have that in their products, and so I guess I am saddened, not by Microsoft's success— have no problem with their success; they've earned their success for the most part. I have a problem with the fact that they just make really third-rate products.
I actually started 0n the tablet first. I had this idea of being able t0 get rid of the keyboard, type on a multi-touch glass display. And I asked our folks, could we come up with a multi-touch display that I could rest my hands on, and actually type on. And about six months later, they called me in and showed me this prototype display. And it was amazing. This is in the early 2000s. And I gave it to one of our other, really brilliant UI [user interface] folks, and he called me back a few weeks later and he had inertial scrolling working and a few other things. I thought, My God, we could build a phone out of this. And I put the tablet project on the shelf, because the phone was more important. And we took the next several years, and did the iPhone.
The Alto had the world's first graphical user interface. It had windows. It had a crude menu system. It had crude panels and stuff. It didn't work right but it basically was all there. Objects: They had Smalltalk running, which was really the first object-oriented language. Simula was really the first, but Smalltalk was the first official object-oriented language. Third, networking: They invented Ethernet there, as you know. And they had about two hundred Altos with servers hooked up in a local area network there doing email and everything else over the network, all in 1979. I was so blown away with the potential of the germ of that graphical user interface that I saw that I didn't even assimilate or even stick around to investigate fully the other two.
They [Microsoft] were able to copy the Mac because the Mac was frozen in time. The Mac didn't change much for the last 10 years. It changed maybe 10 percent. It was a sitting duck. It's amazing that it took Microsoft 10 years to copy something that was a sitting duck. Apple, unfortunately, doesn't deserve too much sympathy. They invested hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars into R&D, but very little came out. They produced almost no new innovation since the original Mac itself. So now, the original genes of the Macintosh have populated the earth. Ninety percent in the form of Windows, but nevertheless, there are tens of millions of computers that work like that. And that's great. The question is, what's next? And what's going to keep driving this PC revolution?
Well, I gotta tell you—we don't do it because it goes down well or not. We have a problem, and our problem was that people had forgotten what Apple stands for. As a matter of fact, a lot of our employees have forgotten what Apple stands for. And so we needed a way to communicate what the heck Apple's all about. And we thought, how do you tell somebody what you are, who you are, what you care about? And the best way we could think of was, you know, if you know who somebody's heroes are, that tells you a lot about them. So we thought we're going to tell people who our heroes are, and that's what the "Think Different" campaign is about. It's about telling people who we admire, who we think are the heroes of this century. And—some people will like us, and some people won't like us.
It's not just recruiting. After recruiting, it's building an environment that makes people feel they are surrounded by equally talented people and their work is bigger than they are. The feeling that the work will have tremendous influence and is part of a strong, clear vision—all those things. Recruiting usually requires more than you alone can do, so I've found that collaborative recruiting and having a culture that recruits the "A" players is the best way. Any interviewee will speak with at least a dozen people in several areas of this company, not just those in the area that he would work in. That way a lot of your "A" employees get broad exposure to the company, and—by having a company culture that supports them if they feel strongly enough—the current employees can veto a candidate.
A computer frees people from much of the menial work. Besides that, you are giving them a tool that encourages them to be creative. Remember, computers are tools. Tools help us do our work better. In education, computers are the first thing to come along since books that will sit there and interact with you endlessly without judgment. Socratic education isn't available anymore, and computers have the potential to be a real breakthrough in the educational process when used in conjunction with enlightened teachers. We're in most schools already. It was one of those sort of apocalyptic moments. I remember within 10 minutes of seeing the graphical user interface stuff, just knowing that every computer would work this way someday. It was so obvious once you saw it. It didn't require tremendous intellect. It was so clear.
You know, my philosophy is—it's always been very simple. And it has its flaws, which I'll go into. My philosophy is that everything starts with a great product. So, you know, I obviously believed in listening to customers, but customers can't tell you about the next breakthrough that's going to happen next year that's going to change the whole industry. So you have to listen very carefully. But then you have to go and sort of stow away—you have to go hide away with people that really understand the technology, but also really care about the customers, and dream up this next breakthrough. And that's my perspective, that everything starts with a great product. And that has its flaws. I have certainly been accused of not listening to the customers enough. And I think there is probably a certain amount of that that's valid.
I was lucky—I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was twenty. We worked hard, and in ten years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4,000 employees. We had just released our finest creation—the Macintosh—a year earlier, and I had just turned thirty. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at thirty I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.
The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting....I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to [create the letters]. I learned about serif and sans-serif typefaces, about varying the space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful. Historical. Artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture. And I found it fascinating. None of this had any hope of any practical application in my life. But 10 years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would never have multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.
People say you have to have a lot of passion for what you're doing and it's totally true. And the reason is because it's so hard that if you don't, any rational person would give up. It's really hard. And you have to do it over a sustained period of time. So if you don't love it, if you're not having fun doing it, you don't really love it, you're going to give up. And that's what happens to most people, actually. If you really look at the ones that ended up being "successful" in the eyes of the society and the ones that didn't, often times it's the ones [who] were successful loved what they did, so they could persevere when it got really tough. And the ones that didn't love it quit because they're sane, right? Who would want to put up with this stuff if you don't love it? So it's a lot of hard work and it's a lot of worrying constantly and if you don't love it, you're going to fail.
One of my role models is Bob Dylan. As I grew up, I learned the lyrics to all his songs and watched him never stand still. If you look at the artists, if they get really good, it always occurs to them at some point that they can do this one thing for the rest of their lives, and they can be really successful to the outside world but not really be successful to themselves. That's the moment that an artist really decides who he or she is. If they keep on risking failure, they're still artists. Dylan and Picasso were always risking failure. This Apple thing is that way for me. I don't want to fail, of course. But even though I didn't know how bad things really were, I still had a lot to think about before I said yes. I had to consider the implications for Pixar, for my family, for my reputation. I decided that I didn't really care, because this is what I want to do. If I try my best and fail, well, I've tried my best.
One of the things I feel is that, right now, if you ask who are the customers of education, the customers of education are the society at large, the employers who hire people, things like that. But ultimately I think the customers are the parents. Not even the students but the parents. The problem that we have in this country is that the customers went away. The customers stopped paying attention to their schools, for the most part. What happened was that mothers started working and they didn't have time to spend at PTA meetings and watching their kids' school. Schools became much more institutionalized, and parents spent less and less and less time involved in their kids education. What happens when a customer goes away and a monopoly gets control, which is what happened in our country, is that the service level almost always goes down. And that's certainly what the public school system is. They don't have to care.
I've said this before. but thought it was worth repeating: It's in Apple's DNA that technology alone is not enough. That it's technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing. And nowhere is that more true than in these post-PC devices. And a lot of folks in this tablet market are rushing in and they're looking at this as the next PC. The hardware and the software are done by different companies. And they're talking about speeds and feeds just like they did with PCs. And our experience and every bone in our body says that that is not the right approach to this. That these are post-PC devices that need to be even easier to use than a PC. That need to be even more intuitive than a PC. And where the software and the hardware and the applications need to intertwine in an even more seamless way than they do on a PC. And we think we're on the right track with this. We think we have the right architecture not just in silicon, but in the organization to build these kinds of products. And so I think we stand a pretty good chance of being pretty competitive in this market And I hope that what you've seen today gives you a good feel for that.
It's better to be a pirate than to join the Navy.
My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to make them better.
We made the buttons on the screen look so good you'll want to lick them.
I'm convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.
Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But, of course, if you dig deeper, it's really how it works.
What a computer is to me is the most remarkable tool that we have ever come up with. It's the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.
Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me ... Going to bed at night saying we've done something wonderful ... that's what matters to me.
I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what's next.
I'm sorry, it's true. Having children really changes your view on these things. We're born, we live for a brief instant, and we die. It's been happening for a long time. Technology is not changing it much— if at all.
That's been one of my mantras—focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.
I was worth about over a million dollars when I was twenty-three and over ten million dollars when I was twenty-four, and over a hundred million dollars when I was twenty-five, and it wasn't important because I never did it for the money.
Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything. ... One is very fortunate if you get to work on just one of these in your career. Apple's been very fortunate it's been able to introduce a few of these into the world.
I think it's brought the world a lot closer together, and will continue to do that. There are downsides to everything; there are unintended consequences to everything. The most corrosive piece of technology that I've ever seen is called television— but then, again, television, at its best, is magnificent.
This is what customers pay us for—to sweat all these details so it's easy and pleasant for them to use our computers. We're supposed to be really good at this. That doesn't mean we don't listen to customers, but it's hard for them to tell you what they want when they've never seen anything remotely like it.
Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things.
These technologies can make life easier, can let us touch people we might not otherwise. You may have a child with a birth defect and be able to get in touch with other parents and support groups, get medical information, the latest experimental drugs. These things can profoundly influence life. I'm not downplaying that.
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
We hire people who want to make the best things in the world. You'd be surprised how hard people work around here. They work nights and weekends, sometimes not seeing their families for a while. Sometimes people work through Christmas to make sure the tooling is just right at some factory in some corner of the world so our product comes out the best it can be. People care so much, and it shows.
The problem with the Internet startup craze isn't that too many people are starting companies; it's that too many people aren't sticking with it. That's somewhat understandable, because there are many moments that are filled with despair and agony, when you have to fire people and cancel things and deal with very difficult situations. That's when you find out who you are and what your values are.
When you're young, you look at television and think, There's a conspiracy. The networks have conspired to dumb us down. But when you get a little older, you realize that's not true. The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want. That's a far more depressing thought. Conspiracy is optimistic! You can shoot the bastards! We can have a revolution! But the networks are really in business to give people what they want. It's the truth.
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: 'If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right.' It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything—all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just 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.
Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it's really how it works. The design of the Mac wasn't what it looked like, although that was part of it. Primarily, it was how it worked. To design something really well, you have to get it. You have to really grok what it's all about. It takes a passionate committment to really thoroughly understand something, chew it up, not just quickly swallow it. Most people don't take the time to do that.
Some people are saying that we ought to put an IBM PC on every desk in America to improve productivity. It won't work. The special incantations you have to learn this time are the 'slash q-zs' and things like that. The manual for WordStar, the most popular word-processing program, is 400 pages thick. To write a novel, you have to read a novel––one that reads like a mystery to most people. They're not going to learn slash q-z any more than they're going to learn Morse code. That is what Macintosh is all about.
Look at the design of a lot of consumer products—they're really complicated surfaces. We tried to make something much more holistic and simple. When you first start off trying to solve a problem, the first solutions you come up with are very complex, and most people stop there. But if you keep going, and live with the problem and peel more layers of the onion off, you can often times arrive at some very elegant and simple solutions. Most people just don't put in the time or energy to get there. We believe that customers are smart, and want objects which are well thought through.