October 6, 2011

"We think the Mac will sell zillions, but we didn’t 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 weren’t going to go out and do market research. We just wanted to build the best thing we could build."

Beautiful. Thank you!

That and more Steve Jobs quotes here.


Paul said...

But..but.. but.. Jobs was a FILTHY CAPITALIST!


I mean the Wall Street protest are about people like him, right?

He worked 20 hr days for years and years to build up his business, but that's what FILTHY CAPITALIST do, RIGHT? You think Bill Gates just sat around and made those millons to?

We should admire those who work hard and produce the American Dream, not sit there like a bunch of welfare queens and kings asking for MORE!

Titus said...

I love that quote.

"Taste" was one of his favorite words.

I loved his Stanford Speech too.

Roger von Oech said...

In 1981 [three years prior to release of the first Mac], I asked Jobs why he created his computer (the Apple I and Apple II). He replied: "We make what we want for ourselves. I wanted a personal computer but I couldn't find one that satisfied me. So I put myself in a position to do so by getting the right people around me to achieve that goal."

That attitude pervaded his thinking throughout his life.

Patrick said...

I saw a video of him yesterday, the video was from I think 1997. He was being questioned, a little bit rudely, about canceling some Apple project after he returned to the company. I thought his reaction to the question, and the questioner was quite good. Essentially saying, there are lots of decisions to make, and that he will get many wrong, but he was going to do what he thought best, and make decisions based on a company wide vision. It was nice to see a leader not attempt to please everyone.

Roger von Oech said...

I don't know of anyone who took better advantage of a "SECOND CHANCE" than Steve Jobs. His second stint at Apple (1997-2011) was far superior to his first one which ended in his ouster in 1985.

Patrick said...

Roger - That's super interesting. I wonder what he - back in 1981 - envisioned that a PC could do. What did he expect to do with it, once he created one that he wanted? It must have been more than word processing and spreadsheets, am I right?

Scott M said...

I was a Mac guy for about a year (roughly 95-96). Then the gaming bug bit and I realized how woefully under-served Mac gamers were.

Roger von Oech said...

I first heard the term Reality Distortion Field when I did my first creativity seminar for Apple in 1980. The term came up a lot, actually. Yes, there was that side of Jobs as well.

Shouting Thomas said...

The PC still absolutely owns the business market. Not even close. Apple is under 9%.

I use both. When I work for clients, I'm entirely in Windows land. At home and for music and recreation, I use Apple.

Price has always been the reason for the PC's dominance. The vast majority of people in this universe still use a computer for biz apps and e-mail.

The price differential for the Apple isn't justified for these users.

edutcher said...

Jobs, like Gates, was a great marketer, despite what he said there.

Anybody who wants to make their presentations a whole lot better should check out one of Jobs' "evangelists", Guy Kawasaki and his video on the 10 20 30 Rule.

Great stuff.

pm317 said...

This is my favorite quote and I can vouch for it through my own experience with a project that is having difficulties. It is so easy to get lost in the mundane and the trivial if all they want is to seem busy and to pretend to earn their keep.

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.

“Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have. [Wired, February 1996]

DADvocate said...

Second quote I've seen here of Jobs on marketing research. As someone who works in marketing research, I like his perspective. Sometimes marketing research leads to mediocrity and true innovation often comes from inspiration.

Kit said...

He had the gift of clarity

I don't know of anyone who took better advantage of a "SECOND CHANCE" than Steve Jobs.

I do. (kudos to Steve, though).

Fred4Pres said...

That is what good design always should be (with some limitations, obviously if your tastes are a bit esoteric, then people might not join your enthusiasm).

John Lynch said...

He found a way to get liberals to worship Ayn Rand.


WV:nader. No shit, hahaha.

J said...

Overpriced, awkward, and slow--Crapple (like ,wheres the browser, SJ?). Not that Windoze is much better but cheap and functional.

But might have spruced up the office, and creatives love 'em.

jamboree said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter said...

‘Shouting Thomas’ said, “Price has always been the reason for the PC's dominance.”

Today, the lack of market share leads to continued lack of market share. A more common computer type will always attract more applications, just because it has more users (although it also attracts more malware).

BUT, it’s also true that early Macs had serious deficiencies. The most obvious being, a nine inch monochrome screen, not enough memory, and few practical upgrade paths. And this was critical, as the computer market was fluid in the 1980s and it could have produced a different winner.

By the time the Mac was introduced (1984), monitors for PCs were available in color or B/W, in a variety of sizes and resolutions to suit different purses and different purposes. The original Mac was a closed box with a 9-inch diag. screen and no way to attach an external monitor.

And customer choice was limited in external peripherals as well. To actually print what you could see on that 9-inch screen, you needed to buy an Apple printer. To get good quality output, you really needed the laser printer- but, that cost $thousands. Or, you could make do with Apple’s crummy, expensive 9-pin dot-matrix printer. Which could print pictures and all those fonts- but all in an ugly, dotty way.

Early Macs ran obnoxiously slow because they didn’t have enough memory.There wasn’t enough memory to load the entire O.S> into RAM, so it was constantly accessing a disk. PCs at the time had about the same amount of memory, but PCs didn’t need as much.

And you couldn’t easily upgrade them. Users could add more memory, or a hard disk, or graphics or other option card, to a PC with just a screwdriver. But you needed a special tool just to open a Mac, and once you got it open you’d need to do some delicate soldering to upgrade it. Or take it to an Apple store, which would upgrade it for about half the price of a new one.

SO, I realize this is ancient history and doesn’t much matter anymore. BUT, there were reasons other than price that caused the Mac to lose against the PC in the years shortly after it was introduced. And after that, winners enjoy positive feedback- people want machines that are backwards-compatible with what they have, and there are advantages to using what everyone else is using.

Of course, these were also the years of Jobs’ exile from Apple. But no one ever said he never failed. The introduction of the original Mac was seriously flawed, and that always seemed like the main reason why he was booted out.

Quaestor said...

Scott M wrote:
Then the gaming bug bit and I realized how woefully under-served Mac gamers were.

I took me a while to Become a Mac guy. My first Apple purchase was the Power PC 7600 a/v, which had considerable upgrade-ability as well as off-the-shelf native power. (PCI bus, SIMM bus, CPU on a removable daughter board, etc.) I took full advantage of its comparatively open architecture to modify that puppy into quite a little beast. I don't believe it was a coincidence that the first Macintosh I found desirable as a platform was released during John Sculley's tenure as Apple's sole CEO.

Quaestor said...

I have been a "geek" since, like forever, and I wanted a computer of my own from the get go, but the first options were daunting -- Ataire or IMSAI? Who wants binary I/O? -- Heathkit? What if I get halfway through and then fuck up a major component? TRS-80? Trash 80 we called 'em. No, I wanted an IBM.

But IBM weren't very inviting. Their stores had a hushed button-down collar atmosphere with lots of swoopy Swedish-style wood paneling, thick carpets and barely audible musak. There was an attractive receptionist up front who made it clear, in a quietly sexy and soothing manner, that IBM wasn't a place for unassisted browsing. Their salesmen wore suits and wanted to explain the business advantages of desktop computing. I wanted a toy, something to explore, to learn with and learn about. Ahem! Well, perhaps you'd like some of our brochures to take home with you...now! Then came the clones.

The IBM store suddenly became more inviting. But there were newcomers in town, start-ups in nearly every executive park selling things called Kaypros, Compaqs, Arches and Zenith(!?) -- all nearly identical to the IBM and cheaper! (It wasn't until I went to work for them that I learned about the remarkably stupid upper management dicta that doomed IBM to extinction in the most lucrative market ever.) But the sheer expansiveness of the clone market daunted me. I could only buy one, but which one?

I considered the Apple IIe, which was impressive, but Apple was already falling behind the IBM world in terms of available software (Apple has never made the environment for outside developers very comfortable or inexpensive, hence software for their platforms has always been comparatively expensive and the library small) And the Lisa? Forget it. I could buy a cherry pre-owned Porsche for that price. Besides, I kept hearing rumors that Apple had something revolutionary just around the corner. Then came Super Bowl XVIII and the legendary ad.

Quaestor said...


A 32-bit CPU! Wow! A GUI like the Lisa but 1/5 the price! Wow! 128Kb! Huh? It was August before I saw one in the flesh, or more correctly in the beige plastic shell. There were about a dozen set up and on display at the local Apple store, but only one or two were running. Why? We want you to see and hear the start-up sequence, they lied. I didn't know it then but the Macs weren't all booted because due to Steve Jobs' jejune aesthetics the original Macintosh relied on passive cooling exclusively -- no fans. Steven didn't want the hum to interfere with Led Zeppelin booming out of his Bang & Ofulsen. Consequently if a Mac was left running there was a serious risk of total ruination. Can we expand the memory? Not yet came the answer, which in Apple-speak meant we'll release a new model next year with 512Kb which you can buy for about 2.5 Kilobucks, give or take. May I see inside? Why would someone want to see inside a computer? (I learned much later that the Original Mac and several of its successors was deliberately designed to keep owners out. There was a special tool called a mac-cracker required to get inside. Without it the curious risked busting the enclosure and possibly the system board as well.) I came to the conclusion right there that Apple was keeping secrets from me, that if I went down the mac road I'd learn next to nothing about the real guts of the subject, unless I really coughed up the cash and bought a development kit, which Apple stores didn't even sell. For that you had to go to Cupertino and beg. I had the cash in my wallet. I walked out.

I sulked for weeks. Buy a Mac and get what? A lot of under-utilized technology running an OS that keeps the owner at arms length and then some from the real system. Or buy a clone from Here Today Enterprises, LLC? The PC clone weighed like a boat anchor, and suggested substantial obsolescence. But that squat little Macintosh tower cast an ominously monomaniacal shadow. So I bought an Amiga 1000, and got a computer that kicked ass. Finally, I was in the Information Age, and without Steve Jobs or Bill Gates.

fivewheels said...

I don't believe that sentiment at all, especially not in regards to the Mac. The fundamental achievement of the Mac was dumbing down computing to a level where anyone could participate. Jobs and his people wouldn't need the training wheels.

I always found the Mac's "simplicity" vaguely condescending. When I needed to delete a file, I had no problem hitting the "Delete" key. But for a Mac user? "What we need is a picture of a trash can, so you can drag the file into the trash, and throw it away! Get it?"

Macs are for babies.

E.M. Davis said...

This is true of any creative endeavor. When you make something for yourself, or tell a story, or write a song, when you do that for yourself, it's infinitely better than anything you could possibly derive for some intended audience.

E.M. Davis said...

The fundamental achievement of the Mac was dumbing down computing to a level where anyone could participate

Wrong. It's not about computing ...