steve jobs, technology, illustration

Steve Jobs (Walter Isaacson): Here’s To the crazy ones

“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, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. … They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do

Steve Jobs

The Biography of Steve Jobs is the best I have ever read, so here are my book notes where I share what I have learned about startup, marketing, creativity, career, life, and more:

Customers don’t know what they want until you show it to them.

When Jobs unveiled the Macintosh, a reporter asked him what type of market research he had done. Jobs replied: “Did Alexander Graham Bell do any market research before he invented the telephone?”

Think different.

Build the phone you want to use.

Apple knew the iPod was going to be successful because they could see how badly they each wanted one personally. With the iPhone, they were excited about building a phone that they would personally want to use.

It’s the best motivator.

Make progress by eliminating things.

Jony Ive, who was the Chief Design Officer at Apple explains, “To be truly simple, you have to go really deep. You have to deeply understand the essence of a product in order to be able to get rid of the parts that are not essential.”

The lifeboat.

If you could take only a few employees on a lifeboat to your next company, whom would you bring?” Once a year, Jobs took his top 100 employees on a retreat. In the end, he would ask them, “What are the ten things we should be doing next?”

People would fight to get their suggestions on the list. And Jobs would write them down, and then slowly cross them off until they were left with a list of ten. Then he would slash the bottom seven and announce, “We can only do three.”

Do a few things well. Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do. It’s as true for companies, as it’s for products. “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.”

Make art.

“I hate it when people call themselves “entrepreneurs” when what they’re really trying to do is launch a startup and then sell or go public, so they can cash in and move on.”

Products, not profits, should be the motivation.

If you don’t cannibalize yourself, someone else will.

The iPhone was partially created to prevent other smartphones from taking over the iPod market.

Good Artist Copy, Great artists steal.

In 1979, Apple shamelessly borrowed a couple of major features from Xerox, made major improvements, and used them on their next-gen computer. In the process, they also proved that good execution is almost as important as good ideas.

The greatest salesman.

Jobs’ pitch to justify 99 cents for a song on iTunes: Downloading a pirated song from the internet took about 15 minutes rather than a minute on iTunes. So, by spending an hour of your time to save 4 dollars, you’re working for under the minimum wage.”


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