Finally finished: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, below are the quotes I highlighted …
The reality distortion field was a confounding melange of a charismatic rhetorical style, indomitable will, and eagerness to bend any fact to fit the purpose at hand — Andy Hertzfeld after joining the Macintosh team.
I had learned you had to stand up for what you believe, which Steve respected. I started getting promoted by him after that. — Debi Coleman, member of the Mac team.
Steve had a way of motivating by looking at the bigger picture — Bill Atkinson member of Mac team.
But even though Jobs’s style could be demoralizing, it could also be oddly inspiring. It infused Apple employees with an abiding passion to create groundbreaking products and a belief that they could accomplish what seemed impossible.
Jobs said he would provide the money. “I believed in what John was doing,” he later said. “It was art. He cared, and I cared. I always said yes.” His only comment at the end of Lasseter’s presentation was, “All I ask of you, John, is to make it great.” — John Lasseter of Pixar prior to funding the Academy Award winning short Tin Toy
Here’s to the crazy one. 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. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. – The famous “Think Different” ad, one that Jobs co-wrote.
One of his motivating passions was to build a lasting company. At age twelve, when he got a summer job at Hewlett-Packard, he learned that a properly run company could spawn innovation far more than any single creative individual. ”I discovered that the best innovation is sometimes the company, the way you organize a company …”
There are no formal design reviews, so there are no huge decision points. Instead, we can make the decisions fluid. Since we iterate everyday and never has dumb-ass presentations, we don’t run into major disagreements. — Jonathan Ive
The ideas that come from me and my team would have been completely irrelevant, nowhere, if Steve hadn’t been her to push us, work with us, and drive through all the resistance to turn our ideas into products. — Jonathan Ive
Many companies pride themselves on having few meetings. Jobs had many: an executive staff session every Monday, a marketing strategy session all Wednesday afternoon, and endless product review sessions. Still allergic to PowerPoints and formal presentations, he insisted that the people around the table hash out issues from various vantages and the perspectives of different departments. Because he believed that Apple’s great advantage was its integration of the whole widget – from design to hardware to software to content – he wanted all departments at the company to work together in parallel. The phrases he used were ‘deep collaboration’ and ‘concurrent engineering’. Instead of a development process in which a product would be passed sequentially from engineering to design to manufacturing, to marketing and distribution, these various departments collaborated simultaneously. ”Our method was to develop integrated products, and that meant our process had to be integrated and collaborative.”
“If something isn’t right, you can’t just ignore it and say you’ll fix it later,” he said. “That’s what other companies do.”
“We won because we personally love music. We made the iPod for ourselves, and when you’re doing something for yourself, or your bet friend or family, you’re not going to cheese out. If you don’t love something, you’re not going to go the extra mile, work the extra weekend, challenge the status quo as much.”
Instead of encouraging each group to let product lines proliferate based on marketing considerations or permitting a thousand ideas to bloom, Jobs insisted that Apple focus on just two or three priorities at a time. ”There is no one better a turning off the noise that is going on around him,” Cook said. ”That allows him to focus on a few things and say no to many things. Few people are really good at that.”
Steve Jobs thus became the greatest business executive of our era, the one most certain to be remembered a century from now. History will place him in the pantheon right next to Edison and Ford. More than anyone else of his time, he made products that were completely innovative, combining the power of poetry and processors. With a ferocity that could make working with him as unsettling as it was inspiring, he also built the world’s most creative company. And he was able to infuse into its DNA the design sensibilities, perfectionism, and imagination that make it likely to be, even decades from now, the company that thrives best at the intersection of artistry and technology.