16 Brilliant Insights From Steve Jobs Keynote Circa 1997
Like millions of others, I’m a big fan of Steve Jobs. He’s a genius and an exceptional communicator. I came across this old video recently of Jobs doing a keynote at the Apple WWDC in 1997 (yes, I know that was 14 years ago). I found many of the insights he had at the time still relevant. What’s interesting about this particular video is that it was during a time that Jobs was not CEO of Apple. So, he is speaking as an external advisor to the company. For the astute among you, you’ll find that there are some inconsistencies between what Jobs said when he was not CEO and how he is behaving now when he is CEO. Particularly is take on “openness” and not reinventing wheels and such.
I think you’ll find the video educational and interesting. I took some of my favorite snippets and included them below. I’ve also included a full transcript of the video, in case you prefer to read these things instead of watch the video.
16 Brilliant Insights From Steve Jobs Circa 1997
1. Apple’s strategy revolves around one fundamental concept, which is to make some really great products.
2. March forward one foot in front of the other. The press and the stock price will take care of themselves.
3. This whole notion of being so proprietary in every facet of what we do has really hurt us.
4. There are a lot of smart people that don’t work at Apple.
5. If we can be much better without being different, that would be fine with me. I want to be much better. I don’t care about being different.
6. The fact that Apple controls the product design from end to end: hardware and software gives us an incredibly unique opportunity. It’s the only company in the industry that does that.
7. Every good product that I’ve ever seen in this industry and pretty much anywhere, is because a group of people cared deeply about making something wonderful that they and their friends wanted.
8. If Woz and I could have went down and plunked down 2000 bucks and bought an Apple II, why would we have built one? We weren’t trying to start a company; we were trying to get a computer.
9. It’s incredibly stupid for Apple to get into a position where for Apple to win, Microsoft has to lose. That’s really dumb.
10. This is my personal opinion. I believe Apple should license everything.
11. For the next several years, our job is to not reinvent the world. It’s to take something that we know exists already but hardly anybody’s got it, and get it out to them.
12. The way you get programmer productivity is by eliminating lines of code you have to write.
13. You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards for the technology.
14. The customers aren’t going to measure us on how people tried or how hungry they were. They’re going to measure us on what they see.
15. Don’t get freaked out by Microsoft any more than we were freaked out by IBM when we started Apple.
16. I really hope that you embrace this as much as the team at Apple is. Because we have a chance to do something really good.
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