I recently read the beast that is Walter Isaacson’s biography on Steve Jobs, creatively titled “Steve Jobs”. For those of you who have never followed or read about Steve, this book may be a shocker. He was not a nice man, but he did get things done and was very successful. CEOs view him as a visionary business leader. I found some really great quotes that I like to highlight and share.

On motivation:

(Y)ou 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.

On impressions:

People DO judge a book by its cover. We may have the best product, the highest quality, the most useful software etc.; if we present them in a slipshod manner, they will be perceived as slipshod; if we present them in a creative, professional manner, we will impute the desired qualities.

A great Jonny Ive quote:

Steve and I care about things like that, which ruin the purity and detract from the essence of something like a utensil, and we think alike about how products should be made to look pure and seamless.

On Apple stores:

Jobs decided that Apple stores should have only one entrance, which would make it easier to control the experience.

On problems:

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.

On how ruthlessly focused he was:

“What are the ten things we should be doing next?” People would fight to get their suggestions on the list. Jobs would write them down, and then cross off the ones he decreed dumb. After much jockeying, the group would come up with a list of ten. Then Jobs would slash the bottom seven and announce, “We can only do three.”

On the simplicity of the iPod:

In order to make the iPod really easy to use—and this took a lot of arguing on my part—we needed to limit what the device itself would do. Instead we put that functionality in iTunes on the computer.

On creativity:

There’s a temptation in our networked age to think that ideas can be developed by email and iChat,” he said. “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.

On Apple’s approach to building great products:

We believe that it’s technology married with the humanities that yields us the result that makes our heart sing.

On focus:

Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do,” he said. “That’s true for companies, and it’s true for products.

These quotes are courtesy of Isaacson, Walter (2011). Steve Jobs (Kindle Location 1601). Simon & Schuster, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

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