I always thought of myself as a humanities person as a kid, but I liked electronics. Then I read something that one of my heroes, Edwin Land of Polaroid, said about the importance of people who could stand at the intersection of humanities and sciences, and I decided that’s what I wanted to do.
The more the outside world tries to reinforce an image of you, the harder it is to continue to be an artist, which is why a lot of times, artists have to say ‘Bye, I have to go. I’m going crazy and I’m getting out of here.’ And they go and hibernate somewhere. Maybe later they re-emerge a little differently.
Did Alexander Graham Bell do any market research before he invented the telephone? No, because customers don’t know what they want until we’ve shown them…
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.
I watched people at Apple who made a lot of money and felt they had to live differently. Some of them bought a Rolls-Royce and various houses, each with a house manager and then someone to manage the house managers. Their wives got plastic surgery and turned into these bizarre people. This was not how I wanted to live. It’s crazy. I made a promise to myself that I’m not going to let this money ruin my life.
Even if we lose our money, we’ll have a company. For once in our lives, we’ll have a company.
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.
For most things in life, the range between best and average is 30% or so. The best airplane flight, the best meal, they may be 30% better than your average one. What I saw with Steve Wozniak (Apple co-founder) was somebody who was 50 times better than your average engineer. The Mac team was an attempt to build a whole team like that of A players. People said they wouldn’t get along, they’d hate working for each other. But I realized A players like to work with A players, they just didn’t like working with C players…When I got back to Apple, that’s what I decided to do.
When we took it (iMac exterior design) to the engineers, they came up with 38 reasons they couldn’t do it…No, no, we’re doing this. Because I’m the CEO and I think it can be done…And so they kind of grudgingly did it.
Steve Jobs refused to go to the high school classes he was assigned and instead went to the ones he wanted, such as a dance class where he could enjoy both the creativity and the chance to meet girls.
He (Steve Jobs) had the power to focus like a laser beam, and when it came across you, you basked in the light of his attention. When it moved to another point of focus, it was very, very dark for you. It was very confusing…
I hate the way people use slide presentation instead of thinking. People would confront a problem by creating a presentation. I wanted them to engage, to hash things out at the table, rather than show a bunch of slides. People who know what they’re talking about don’t need PowerPoint.
I was on one of my fruitarian diets. I had just come back from the apple farm. It sounded fun, spirited, and not intimidating. Apple took the edge off the word ‘computer.’ Plus, it would get us ahead of Atari (game manufacturer) in the phone book.’ Steve Jobs, on how the name ‘Apple’ came about.
I hate it when people call themselves entrepreneurs when what they’re really trying to do is launch a start-up and then sell or go public, so they can cash in and move on. They’re unwilling to do the work it takes to build a real company, which is the hardest work in business.
What drove me? I think most creative people want to express appreciation for being able to take advantage of the work that’s been done by others before us…Everything I do depends on other members of our species and the shoulders that we stand on. And a lot of us want to contribute something back to our species and to add something to the flow. It’s about trying to express something in the only way that most of us know how…We try to use the talent we do have to express our deep feelings, to show our appreciation of all the contributions that came before us, and to add something to that flow. That’s what has driven me.
The older I get, the more I see how much motivations matter…We won because we personally love music. We made the iPod for ourselves, and when you’re doing something for yourself, or your best friends 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.
We all have a short period of time on this Earth. We probably only have the opportunity to do a few things really great and do them well. None of us has any idea how long we’re going to be here, nor do I, but my feeling is I’ve got to accomplish a lot of these things while I’m young.
Taking LSD (“Acid”) was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life. LSD shows you that there’s another side to the coin, and you can’t remember it when it wears off, but you know it. It reinforced my sense of what was important – creating great things instead of making money, putting things back into the stream of history and of human consciousness as much as I could.
I want it to be as beautiful as possible, even if it’s inside the box. A great carpenter isn’t going to use lousy wood for the back of a cabinet, even though nobody’s going to see it.
I’ve had a very lucky career, a very lucky life. I’ve done all I can do.
Your thoughts construct patterns like scaffolding in your mind. You are really etching chemical patterns. In most cases, people get stuck in those patterns, just like grooves in a record, and they never get out of them.
Mike (Markkula) really took me under his wing…He emphasized that you should never start a company with the goal of getting rich. Your goal should be making something you believe in and making a company that will last.
There’s a temptation in our networked age to think that ideas can be developed by email and iChat. That’s crazy. Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions. You run into someone, you ask what they’re doing, you say ‘Wow’!, and soon you’re cooking up all sorts of ideas.
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. 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 invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward. Maybe they have to be crazy. How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels? We make tools for these kinds of people. While some 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.
I’ve learned over the years that when you have really good people you don’t have to baby them. By expecting them to do great things, you can get them to do great things. The original Mac team taught me that A+ players like to work together, and they don’t like it if you tolerate B work.