Two views on Steve Jobs

Here is a real world story about Steve Jobs:

"I wish you could have seen Steve in action with Lee Clow of Chiat/Day, working on Apple’s ‘Think Different’ campaign. Lee, the living legend whose creations ranged from the ‘1984’ Apple commercial to ‘Yo Quiero Taco Bell,’ showed an early version of ‘Here’s to the crazy ones’ from the ‘Think Different’ campaign. A full minute of black-and-white pictures of Picasso, Einstein, Muhammad Ali, Rosa Parks, Bucky Fuller, amazing music and Richard Dreyfus reading this poem, seeing it for the first time brought the hair up on the back of my neck. So here I am, practically with tears rolling down my face, and Steve just looks at Lee, shakes his head, and says, ‘You’ve lost it.’

I thought, ‘What?! That’s one of the greatest ads I’ve ever seen!’ And here’s Steve going, ‘No. The music isn’t right. It was right before. And you’ve changed the pace of the pictures, and you’ve got them in the wrong order.’ He sends them packing, back to LA. They came back after probably 30 hours with no bodily functions, and I was stunned. It was a lot better. Steve has a vision of what great is, and he’s never going to settle for anybody else’s standard of great.

(Excerpt from an interview with Ed Niehaus at Coopers Journal, full story here)

Two views:

  • I’d love we had more product owners working like this! Not about making an ad campaign that has to be this or that, – it’s about making a great experience!
  • How would we have experienced Steve in any other role? Probably like a egocentric lunatic complaining and whining  "not good enough" all the time. A "non team player". People like Steve are rare but when whining they simply express a need for role where they can outlive their excellence. Our job is to create an environment so that can happen.

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