Apple Process

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The first Apple Logo from 1976 (the year both I and the company were born) was inscribed with the phrase: “Newton… A Mind Forever Voyaging Through Strange Seas of Thought … Alone.”

Steve Jobs has died. And while my fingers are too numb to type, I have an equally numbing urge to get some thoughts off my mind and onto the screen.

Why do I feel so stricken by the passing of someone outside my immediate family, circle of friends or even list of acquaintances? Is it because he made the best phone (itself a hyperbolic claim)? The greatest portable music player? The most interactive shopping experience both in brick and mortar (or should I say glass and steel?) and online? Is it because he co-founded a company that began life in his garage and evolved into a world-wide brand?

No. Those are all Apple Products. Jobs’ true legacy is the Apple Process. Or, to put it in simpler, more effective, more Apple-esque terms: What will stay with me is not what Steve Jobs did, but how he did it.

Time and time again, Jobs proved that quality and quantity are not mutually exclusive, by focusing as much on design as on function, on craftsmanship as on popularity, on art as on mass appeal. He organized a core team that balanced celebrity with humility to such an extent that Apple itself came to be personified in Steve Jobs, Marketing in Phil Schiller, and Design in Jonathan Ive. These are people we’ve come to know, trust, follow, and expect things from. And, always true to form, Apple has continued to pour as much thought into the edge of a laptop casing as it has into the structure of a glass staircase in its retail store, as it has into the inner workings of its machines (even the guts of their laptops are beautiful).

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. — Steve Jobs

Jobs understood that it is not what the market wants, but what you tell it that it wants. And you do so by, to use two more Apple-isms, “thinking different” to create “insanely great” products. When your Operating System achieves its maximum potential, you turn around and start from scratch (Mac OSX). When sales of your high-end laptops hit an all-time high, you go around and introduce not only a new product but an entirely new category of products (iPad). When the world itself seems to be transitioning into the Cloud, you go out and build a line of retail boutiques so exclusive, it paradoxically draws people in instead of intimidating them into staying out.

And you do that not only by learning from your own mistakes, but from those of others. Mistakes are repeatable, successes are not. In fact the word “repetition” itself is an antonym of success. Steve Jobs knew that, and I know that because of him.

And one more thing: Steve, you’ll be dearly missed.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Maria November 20, 2015 at 6:25 pm

Google just wanted to end it, that’s why Apple’s woknirg with TomTom now in the maps. Google has their new YouTube app out for download in the App Store.

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