The secret of Apple has been a long study by John Sculley. Now here is what Steve Jobs himself said about the success of the firm.
Steve Jobs liked outlines his views on the choice of programmers. Summary:
I observed something fairly early on at Apple, which I didn't know how to explain then, but have thought a about it since. While in most areas, the ratio between the excellent and the average is 2:1, in the software the ratio of good developer and the average programmer is rather 50:1 or even 100:1.
So I built much of my success in finding these very talented people. And they enjoy working together because they have never had the chance to do that before.
The elitist views of Steve Jobs would have had no success in a Soviet republic. In fact it would have inevitably ended in a gulag.
Design is not what you believe:
Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it’s this veneer — 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.
To give an example applying this principle, the fact that iPhones are encircled by a steel frame, which is actually the antenna is not only made to look pretty. This allows rather to place the antenna outside while it was previously in the device, and save space for the battery ...
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.
Another sentence attributed to him on simplicity: A product is not perfect when it was equipped with everything that is useful, but when everything that is useless is removed...
I have been shameless about stealing great ideas...
A quote that he has developed in detail in a video in which he explains: Good artists copy, great artists steal. But according to his lawsuits against Android, he does not like to be stolen his ideas.
I discovered that the best innovation is sometimes the company, the way you organize a company.
We are inventing the future. It is like the front edge of the wave, it is exhilarating, vs. the tail end.
These quotations are from the memoirs of John Sculley, the man who fired Jobs from Apple in 1984. He himself was later replaced and the successor of his successor has been replaced by ... Steve Jobs!
The thing that separated Steve Jobs from other people like Bill Gates — Bill was brilliant too — but Bill was never interested in great taste. He was always interested in being able to dominate a market.
Microsoft’s philosophy is to get it out there and fix it later. Steve would never do that. He doesn’t get anything out there until it is perfected.
Something that applies perfectly to the Vista system. We had to wait for Seven to get it working satisfactorily.
AppleTalk was brilliant in its day. It was another example of using a minimalist approach and solving a problem that no one else thought was a problem that needed to be solved.
The media tend to append the qualifier of visionary to entrepreneurs who succeed. Bill Gates was he a visionary? Not at the product level. But in the field of marketing, perhaps.
Steve was incredibly methodical.
This somewhat contradicts the image we could have of a fantastic but inventive character, feeding on only apples (at a time).
When he knows something is going to be important he tries to absorb as much as he possibly can.
This trend is the complement of the next, which is to control everything himself.
In each case, he always reached out for the very best people he could find in the field. And he personally did all the recruiting for his team. He never delegated that to anybody else.
"The way I like to work is where I touch everything."
Steve had a rule that there could never be more than one hundred people on the Mac team.
From this profile emerges the image of a dictator, but very different from Gates who wants to build an empire (which he seems to lose interest later), while Jobs built a company around it.
On one level he is working at the “change the world,” the big concept. At the other level he is working down at the details of what it takes to actually build a product and design the software, the hardware, the systems design and eventually the applications, the peripheral products that connect to it.
The Apple company, according to the quotations by Sculley, seems to be the personification of a person, a living being transformed into a great machine to produce objects and these objects are realizing his own dreams.
Part 1: The secret of Apple by John Sculley.