Topics: Life Before Apple | How He Saw Himself | Building Apple | Macintosh Memories | Returning to Apple | Leadership Style | The Apple Difference | Apple Products | Design | Creativity & Innovation | Technology | Recruiting | Microsoft | Other Companies | Money | Philosophy & Beliefs | Predicting the Future | Personal Stuff | Death | Lessons Learned
Steve Jobs Quotes: Building Apple
This whole vision of a personal computer just popped into my head. [In March 1975], I started to sketch out on paper what would later become known as the Apple I.
Even if we lose our money, we’ll have a company. For once in our lives, we’ll have a company. [To Woz, early on]
I was on one of my fruitarian diets. I had just come back from the apple farm. It sounded fun, spirited, and not intimidating. Apple took the edge off the word “computer.” Plus, it would get us ahead of Atari in the phone book. [Naming the company]
My vision was to create the first fully packaged computer. We were no longer aiming for the handful of hobbyists who liked to assemble their own computers, who knew how to buy transformers and keyboards. For every one of them there were a thousand people who would want the machine to be ready to run.
I discovered that the best innovation is sometimes the company, the way you organize a company. The whole notion of how you build a company is fascinating.
My model for business is the Beatles. They were four guys that kept each others’ negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That’s how I see business: great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people.
What we do at Apple is very simple: we invent stuff… We make stuff, put it out there, and people use it.
The rewarding thing isn’t merely to start a company or to take it public. It’s like when you’re a parent. Although the birth experience is a miracle, what’s truly rewarding is living with your child and helping him grow up.
The only purpose for me in building a company is so that it can make products. Of course, building a very strong company and a foundation of talent and culture is essential over the long run to keep making great products. On the other hand, to me, the company is one of humanity’s most amazing inventions. It’s totally abstract. Sure, you have to build something with bricks and mortar to put the people in, but basically a company is this abstract construct we’ve invented, and it’s incredibly powerful.
No. Apple — the company. Because anybody can create products, but Apple keeps creating great products. [When asked if his greatest creation was iPad or iPhone]
We don’t know where it will lead. We just know there’s something much bigger than any of us here.
Now when we see new things or opportunities, we can seize them… A creative period like this lasts only maybe a decade, but it can be a golden decade if we manage it properly.
Each year has been so robust with problems and successes and learning experiences and human experiences that a year is a lifetime at Apple. So this has been ten lifetimes.
So if Apple just becomes a place where computers are a commodity item and where the romance is gone, and where people forget that computers are the most incredible invention that man has ever invented, then I’ll feel I have lost Apple. But if I’m a million miles away and all those people still feel those things and they’re still working to make the next great personal computer, then I will feel that my genes are still in there.