Steve Jobs at 44


    Steve Jobs

    (2 of 6)

    Whereas we say, "Okay, we're going to build it in the hardware, build it in the software, evangelize the developers." We can pick half a dozen things like that a year and go make that innovation.

    Believe me, the product pipeline for the next 18 months looks unbelievably strong. Our mission is just to build the best personal computers in the world.

    Why He Isn't the Only Important Person
    Both Pixar and Apple are team sports, even more so in my funny situation. I rely on a very great management team at Pixar because I'm not there all the time. I'm here [at Apple] a little more than I am there [at Pixar] these days. And without those folks, nothing of value would happen. I guess what I'm trying to say is, there's different things in life you can do. You can become a painter, you can become a sculptor. You can make something by yourself. But that's not what I do. I do the other thing, which is, you work at things that one person can't do, and that you need large numbers of people to do. I know people like symbols, but it's always unsettling when people write stories about me, because they tend to overlook a lot of other people.

    The Promise of the Broadband Web
    I think there's a lot of possibility there, but there are a lot of problems between here and there. The Internet offers no guaranteed delivery. There's no gauranteed latency. You get a lot of traffic on that backbone, you have all sorts of problems. When you try to start moving huge amounts of information around with big high-fidelity images, there's just a lot of problems there. But they will get solved.

    The Apple Cafeteria
    This is the nicest corporate cafe I've ever seen. When we got here this was dog food. There was this company called Guggeinheim that it was farmed out to and it was just s__t. And finally we fired them and got this friend of mine who runs Il Fourniao restaurant to come and he did everything and now it's great. So... [ starts pointing ] ...there's a burrito bar, a salad bar, there's some pasta over there, there's a wood-burning pizza oven right there...there's sometimes sushi, and there's another salad bar over there...

    Palo Alto Development
    I live in Palo Alto, I moved there about ten years ago when I got married and we had a child, because I wanted to be in more of a community and have neighbors. The problem is that it's a nice community, and a lot of people want to live there, and they're not making any more Palo Alto. San Mateo's great, Burlingame's great, San Carlos is great, all those towns are really good right now. But they're getting discovered.

    The Word 'Broadband'
    My personal belief is that you shouldn't use a word like broadband. It's this myterious thing. It's just fast networking, and I think people can understand that; high-speed networking vs. slower speed networking. I think this term broadband throws a lot of people off; they think it's something new and mysterious when all it is is their modem running 100 times faster.

    Whether, When Pondering Future Products, He Thinks About the Year 1999 or the Year 2010
    Um, neither. [ Long pause. ] I look for vectors going in time. What's changing, what are the trends? What windows have just opened and what windows are closing? Like, a trivial example, the USB was a window that was opening. It was a trend that Apple had started with ease of use of plug-and-play, and USB let us take it further, simplify two or three ports down to one. The trend was toward serial high-speed IO. You used to have parallel IO with these big fat cables and big fat connectors. But now with the technology we have, you could serialize the bits on that, pump bits much faster but only need one or two wires to do it. And the cables are smaller, and the connectors are smaller and it's more consumer-oriented. Put some software around it and make it self-addressing, so it's just plug-and-play.

    You try to spot those things and how they're going to be changing over time and which horses you want to ride and at any point in time, balancing all those things to make a product. The product is like the physical incarnation of all these things you've got to keep in your mind and understand where you're going to place your bets. You can't be too far ahead, but you have to be far enough ahead, because it takes time to implement. So you have to intercept a moving train. And you also have to pick horses to ride for five to ten year periods because you don't want to be changing things. If I give you 20 bricks, you could lay them all on the ground and you'd have 20 bricks on the ground. Or you can lay them on top of each other and start building a wall. We don't want to go back and start relaying the bricks we laid last year. So we want to choose wisely the standards we're going to ride, the directions we're going to go, so that each project builds upon the last one and we can invest our engineering efforts into new things, rather than redoing things we just did a year or two ago. You have to invest in thinking through the architecture of things. Otherwise when you get up to the 10th floor, the building starts to collapse.

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