That’s Shit

“It’s actually the opposite, creativity can’t exist without the negative. 

In a 1997 interview with Business Week, Steve Jobs said about Apple, “The products suck!  There’s no sex in them anymore!”  Steve’s never been one to mince words.  And he’s far from always being positive, optimistic, or encouraging.  He’s able to build great new products by seeing the products with the current ones, even his own.  Working for him, I’m told by friends who have, is a nightmare.   He rips on people and their ideas with little or no concern for feelings or consideration.  In meetings, he’s the exat opposite of what Alex Osborne proposed with his so-called ‘brainstorming’ concept.  His typical response to a new idea is “That’s shit.”  The joke at Apple was never to discuss ideas with Steve on an elevator because your chances of having a job by the time you reached your floor weren’t very good.  Employees started taking the stairs when he returned to the boardroom at Apple after his ten-year exile.  People with fragile egos didn’t work there.  Not for long anyway.

Steve Jobs treated product designers and engineers at Apple to even harsher judgment.  ‘That’s shit’ was repeated over and over by Steve.  He had a clear vision of the Macintosh and the problems it was trying to solve.  He summarily rejected any element, big or small, that didn’t contribute to solving these problems. 

Unlike his competitors, Jobs used more than computers for comparison.  He was using stereos, fine watches, drawing pads, desktops, and Japanese artwork to judge his product.  Young and Simon said, ‘What made the job so frustrating for the team was Steve’s apparent total inability to overlook any detail of the project.  He was a micromanager to the nth degree. He cared passionately about the smallest of items.  Eventually the final result was better for it; however the path was tortuous.’ “

I think this is my third or fourth mention of Borrowing Brilliance.  Epic book.


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