Quotable quotes from Steve Jobs

Yes, there are many many more. But a couple that I came across today morning, that are worth mentioning.

On focus groups?

“It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.”

On creativity

“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.

On how innovation really happens

“But innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem. It’s ad hoc meetings of six people called by someone who thinks he has figured out the coolest new thing ever and who wants to know what other people think of his idea.”

On designing products

“Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works… To design something really well, you have to get it. You have to really grok what it’s all about. It takes a passionate commitment to really thoroughly understand something, chew it up, not just quickly swallow it. Most people don’t take the time to do that.”

And ofcourse, the quote from his famous Stanford Commencement Speech –

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

Thanks are due to Inc.com, from where I found these.

Icon Ambulance

Steve Jobs (Circa 1981) - Source nymag.com

An incident narrated by Vic Gundotra about Steve Jobs. Beautiful and touching.

Icon Ambulance

One Sunday morning, January 6th, 2008 I was attending religious services when my cell phone vibrated. As discreetly as possible, I checked the phone and noticed that my phone said “Caller ID unknown”. I choose to ignore.

After services, as I was walking to my car with my family, I checked my cell phone messages. The message left was from Steve Jobs. “Vic, can you call me at home? I have something urgent to discuss” it said.

Before I even reached my car, I called Steve Jobs back. I was responsible for all mobile applications at Google, and in that role, had regular dealings with Steve. It was one of the perks of the job.

“Hey Steve – this is Vic”, I said. “I’m sorry I didn’t answer your call earlier. I was in religious services, and the caller ID said unknown, so I didn’t pick up”.

Steve laughed. He said, “Vic, unless the Caller ID said ‘GOD’, you should never pick up during services”.

I laughed nervously. After all, while it was customary for Steve to call during the week upset about something, it was unusual for him to call me on Sunday and ask me to call his home. I wondered what was so important?

“So Vic, we have an urgent issue, one that I need addressed right away. I’ve already assigned someone from my team to help you, and I hope you can fix this tomorrow” said Steve.

“I’ve been looking at the Google logo on the iPhone and I’m not happy with the icon. The second O in Google doesn’t have the right yellow gradient. It’s just wrong and I’m going to have Greg fix it tomorrow. Is that okay with you?”

Of course this was okay with me. A few minutes later on that Sunday I received an email from Steve with the subject “Icon Ambulance”. The email directed me to work with Greg Christie to fix the icon.

Since I was 11 years old and fell in love with an Apple II, I have dozens of stories to tell about Apple products. They have been a part of my life for decades. Even when I worked for 15 years for Bill Gates at Microsoft, I had a huge admiration for Steve and what Apple had produced.

But in the end, when I think about leadership, passion and attention to detail, I think back to the call I received from Steve Jobs on a Sunday morning in January. It was a lesson I’ll never forget. CEOs should care about details. Even shades of yellow. On a Sunday.

To one of the greatest leaders I’ve ever met, my prayers and hopes are with you Steve.


Source: [link]

US hand in Anna Hazare protest

Ok. I usually do not blog about politics (other than the occasional rant!). But this was just too amusing to ignore.

Congress hinted at an American hand behind Anna Hazare-led protests, asking why had the US spoken in favour of an agitation in the country for the first time since Independence. It urged the government to probe the angle of the hidden hand trying to destabilize the country

Source: TimesofIndia

Does Apple create Magic ?

Lex friedman, in his article in MacWorld, has a beautiful piece on Apple. An excerpt below:

Apple uses the word “magical” a lot these days. It’s enough to make you wonder if Steve Jobs dropped out of Hogwarts. The most magical item in Apple’s endless bag of products is probably the iPad. Even before the tablet hit the shelves, chief operating officer Tim Cook was talking up the “magic of using [the iPad]” at an investors conference. For a time, Apple’s standard boilerplate at the end of each press release described the original iPad as magical.

It’s not just tablets, though—Apple sells products like the Magic Mouse and the Magic Trackpad. With the possible exception of Mr. Clean, no other non-legerdemain-focused company so consistently depicts its products as supernaturally enhanced.

As fond as Apple may be of promoting its products using terms of enchantment, I think it misses the point—and actually sells the company’s efforts a bit short. Instead of “magical,” it’s more accurate to describe Apple’s products as brilliantly and patiently engineered, with meticulous attention to detail.

Read the full article here.


The tech mud-slinging match that is happening …

Some of us have been following the mud-slinging match that has been happening between Microsoft, Google, and Apple, in recent times. The scene is hot now, with the latest patent issue.

If you have not been followng this, MG Ziegler from techcrunch has a good piece on how it has panned out until now. Read it here.

Trucks and the open road …

While the title does sound like a very happy one, this piece that I am going to point to, is not. I have always been a big fan of the big rigs. I have always watched them in fascination while I used to live in the US. My 18 mo son and me watch them all the time now on you-tube.

The piece talks about the travails of a truck driver, and how it not necessarily the fantasy world, that we think it is. Read on <a href="“>here.

Image courtesy: <a href="“>startribune