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Steve Jobs Quotes #1

A comprehensive collection

On Technology

It takes these very simple-minded instructionsóĎGo fetch a number, add it to this number, put the result there, perceive if itís greater than this other numberíĖĖbut executes them at a rate of, letís say, 1,000,000 per second. At 1,000,000 per second, the results appear to be magic. [Playboy, Feb. 1, 1985]

Things donít have to change the world to be important. [Wired, February 1996]

I think itís 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 Iíve ever seen is called television ó but then again, television, at its best, is magnificent. [Rolling Stone, Dec. 3, 2003]

On Design

We think the Mac will sell zillions, but we didnít 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 werenít going to go out and do market research. We just wanted to build the best thing we could build. When youíre a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, youíre not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. Youíll know itís there, so youíre 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. [Playboy, Feb. 1, 1985]

Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, itís really how it works. The design of the Mac wasnít 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 itís all about. It takes a passionate commitment to really thoroughly understand something, chew it up, not just quickly swallow it. Most people donít take the time to do that. Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didnít really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. Thatís because they were able to connect experiences theyíve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that theyíve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, thatís too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry havenít had very diverse experiences. So they donít have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader oneís understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have. [Wired, February 1996]

For something this complicated, itís really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people donít know what they want until you show it to them. Thatís been one of my mantras ó focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But itís worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains. [BusinessWeek, May 25, 1998, in a profile that also included the following gem: "Steve clearly has done an incredible job," says former Apple Chief Financial Officer Joseph Graziano. "But the $64,000 question is: Will Apple ever resume growth?"]

This is what customers pay us forĖto sweat all these details so itís easy and pleasant for them to use our computers. Weíre supposed to be really good at this. That doesnít mean we donít listen to customers, but itís hard for them to tell you what they want when theyíve 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, ĎOh my God, thatís great!í [Fortune, January 24 2000]

Look at the design of a lot of consumer products ó theyíre 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 donít put in the time or energy to get there. We believe that customers are smart, and want objects which are well thought through. [MSNBC and Newsweek interview, Oct. 14, 2006]

from Wall Street Journal, 8/24/2011