Sunday, October 17, 2010

He (Steve) did not respect large organizations. He felt that they were bureaucratic and ineffective. He would call them "bozos."

I remember going into Steve’s house and he had almost no furniture in it. He just had a picture of Einstein, whom he admired greatly, and he had a  Tiffany lamp and a chair and a bed. He just didn’t believe in having lots of things around but he was incredibly careful in what he selected. The same thing was true with Apple. Here’s someone who starts with the user experience, who believes that industrial design shouldn’t be compared to what other people were doing with technology products but it should be compared to people were doing with jewelry… Go back to my lock example, and hinges and a door with beautiful brass, finely machined, mechanical devices. And I think that reflects everything that I have ever seen that Steve has touched.

When I first saw the Macintosh — it was in the process of being created — it was basically just a series of components over what is called a bread board. It wasn’t anything, but Steve had this ability to reach out to find the absolute best, smartest people he felt were out there. He was extremely charismatic and extremely compelling in getting people to join up with him and he got people to believe in his visions even before the products existed. When I met the Mac team, which eventually got to 100 people but the time I met him it was much smaller, the average age was 22.

These were people who had clearly never built a commercial product before but they believed in Steve and they believed in his vision. He was able to work in multiple levels in parallel.

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.

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 other thing about Steve was that he did not respect large organizations. He felt that they were bureaucratic and ineffective. He would basically call them “bozos.” That was his term for organizations that he didn’t respect.

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