Steve Jobs Quotes

The following quotes come from biographies and books about Apple featuring Steve Jobs. All of these quotes were spoken by Steve Jobs.

Insanely Simple by Ken Segall (2012)

“So, I hear you’ve been doing the ads for Apple… I really like the TV you’ve been doing. The print is really shit.”

“Ah. So you put the B team on this one, did you?”

“What do you do at the agency?… Oh, so you’re overhead.”

“Nike has been great for a long time. So… your job is to not fuck anything up.”

“The work you showed me last week was shit. I knew it was shit, you knew it was shit, but you came all the way out here and showed it to me anyway. That’s not acceptable and I never want it to happen again. Ever.”

“If you can’t do a better job than that, you’re going to have to replace yourself.”

“You’re doing great, but you still have to shake a few of those Chiat/Day cobwebs loose.”

“I don’t want someone guessing what I’m going to like or not like. Maybe I’ll see a spark in there that nobody else sees.”

“This is how Microsoft does it. It’s like printing money.”

“To me, marketing is about values. This is a very complicated world, it’s a very noisy world, and we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is. And so we have to be really clear on what we want them to know about us.”

“Apple at the core, its core value, is that we believe that people with passion can change the world for the better. That’s what we believe… And that those people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that actually do.”

“The theme of this campaign is Think different, honoring the people who think different and who move this world forward. And it is what we are about; it touches the soul of this company… I hope that you feel the same way about it I do.”

“Here’s the new application. It’s got one window. You drag your video into the window. Then you click the button that says ‘Burn.’ That’s it. That’s what we’re going to make.”

“I think it’s sort of reminiscent of Sony. But I have to tell you, I don’t mind a little rub-off from Sony. They’re a famous consumer company, and if MacMan seems like a Sony kind of consumer product, that might be a good thing.”

“First of all, you have to know it’s a Mac, so I think it has to have the ‘Mac’ word in it. Second, everybody wants to get on the Internet, and this is the easiest way to get there. It’s a no-brainer.”

“This is a full-powered Mac, but some people are going to look at it and think it’s a toy. So the name shouldn’t sound too frivolous.”

“Now you’ve only got one week left to come up with a better name, or it’s going to be ‘MacMan.’”

“Well, I don’t hate it this week, but I still don’t love it. Now we’ve only got a couple days left, and I still think ‘MacMan’ is the best name we have.”

“Well, you let me have the last one, so I’ll let you have this one.”

“Look, I don’t know who that guy was or why you brought him, but I’m not paying a cent for anything he just did, and I never want to see him at Apple again.”

“Why’d you ask them? They don’t have any money!”

“Just show me the ads! Are you going to be sitting next to me to explain things when I read the Wall Street Journal in the morning?”

“This was the first time a computer made me cry.”

“We had the hardware expertise, the industrial design expertise, and the software expertise, including iTunes. One of the biggest insights we [had] was that we decided not to try to manage your music library on the iPod, but to manage it in iTunes. Other companies tried to do everything on the device itself and made it so complicated that it was useless.”

“Fuck the lawyers.”

“If you guys can’t do it, I’ll bet [your competitor] can figure out how to do it pretty quick.”

“You know, we could really get sued over this. And that might not be a bad thing.”

“We have to get it out of our heads that for us to win, Microsoft has to lose. The battle for the desktop is over. And we lost.”

“Maybe I can ask Bill Clinton if he can help.”

“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.”

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (2011)

“I’ve done a lot of things I’m not proud of, such as getting my girlfriend pregnant when I was twenty-three and the way I handled that. But I don’t have any skeletons in my closet that can’t be allowed out.”

“Knowing I was adopted may have made me feel more independent, but I have never felt abandoned. I’ve always felt special. My parents made me feel special.”

“I love it when you can bring really great design and simple capability to something that doesn’t cost much.”

“I encountered authority of a different kind than I had ever encountered before, and I did not like it. And they really almost got me. They came close to really beating any curiosity out of me.”

“The juice goes out of Christianity when it becomes too based on faith rather than on living like Jesus or seeing the world as Jesus saw it. I think different religions are different doors to the same house. Sometimes I think the house exists, and sometimes I don’t. It’s the great mystery.”

“The kids who went to Stanford, they already knew what they wanted to do. They weren’t really artistic. I wanted something that was more artistic and interesting.”

“[Be Here Now] was really profound. It transformed me and many of my friends.”

“There was a hatch in the ceiling leading to an attic which had a huge amount of space. We took psychedelic drugs there sometimes, but mainly we just meditated.”

“I began to realize that an intuitive understanding and consciousness was more significant than abstract thinking and intellectual logical analysis.”

“[Robert Friedland] turned me on to a different level of consciousness.”

“Robert always portrayed himself as a spiritual person, but he crossed the line from being charismatic to being a con man. It was a strange thing to have one of the spiritual people in your young life turn out to be symbolically and in reality a gold miner.”

“I came of age at a magical time. Our consciousness was raised by Zen, and also by LSD.”

“Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life. LSD shows you that there’s another side to the coin, and you can’t remember it when it wears off, but you know it. It reinforced my sense of what was important – creating great things instead of making money, putting things back into the stream of history and of human consciousness as much as I could.”

“I’d been turned on to the idea of enlightenment and trying to figure out who I was and how I fit into things.”

“Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect, in my opinion. That’s had a big impact on my work.”

“If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things – that’s when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before. It’s a discipline; you have to practice it.”

“I learned the truth of the Zen saying that if you are willing to travel around the world to meet a teacher, one will appear next door.”

“Woz is very bright in some areas, but he’s almost like a savant, since he was so stunted when it came to dealing with people he didn’t know. We were a good pair.”

“I was only twenty-two, and I knew I wasn’t ready to run a real company. But Apple was my baby, and I didn’t want to give it up.”

“We are inventing the future. Think about surfing on the front edge of a wave. It’s really exhilarating. Now think about dog-paddling at the tail end of that wave. It wouldn’t be anywhere near as much fun. Come down here and make a dent in the universe.”

“Picasso had a saying – ‘good artists copy, great artists steal’ – and we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.”

“I made a promise to myself that I’m not going to let this money ruin my life.”

“The idealistic wind of the sixties is still at our backs, though, and most of the people I know who are my age have that ingrained in them forever.”

“I’ve learned over the years that when you have really good people you don’t have to baby them. By expecting them to do great things, you can get them to do great things. The original Mac team taught me that A-plus players like to work together, and they don’t like it if you tolerate B work. Ask any member of that Mac team. They will tell you it was worth the pain.”

“I have always found Buddhism, Japanese Zen Buddhism in particular, to be aesthetically sublime. The most sublime thing I’ve ever seen are the gardens around Kyoto. I’m deeply moved by what that culture has produced, and it’s directly from Zen Buddhism.”

“Great art stretches the taste, it doesn’t follow tastes.”

“When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.”

“It taught me to never get too excited about things like [being on the cover of Time Magazine], since the media is a circus anyway.”

“The journey is the reward.”

“Customers don’t know what they want until we’ve shown them.”

“It’s better to be a pirate than to join the navy.”

“We were the renegades, and we wanted people to know it.”

“I think Apple’s got a chance to create an Apple Generation.”

“We all have a short period of time on this earth. We probably only have the opportunity to do a few things really great and do them well. None of us has any idea how long we’re going to be here, nor do I, but my feeling is I’ve got to accomplish a lot of these things while I’m young.”

“I want something that will stop people in their tracks. I want a thunderclap.”

“It’s a wonderful, ecstatic feeling to create something that puts it back in the pool of human experience and knowledge.”

“It’s too easy, as a team grows, to put up with a few B players, and they then attract a few more B players, and soon you will even have some C players. The Macintosh experience taught me that A players like to work only with other A players, which means you can’t indulge B players.”

“See, I’d been very influenced by what I’d seen in Japan. Part of what I greatly admired there – and part of what we were lacking in our factory – was a sense of teamwork and discipline.”

“Your thoughts construct patterns like scaffolding in your mind. You are really etching chemical patterns. In most cases, people get stuck in those patterns, just like grooves in a record, and they never get out of them.”

“If you want to live your life in a creative way, as an artist, you have to not look back too much. You have to be willing to take whatever you’ve done and whoever you were and throw them away.”

“The more the outside world tries to reinforce an image of you, the harder it is to continue to be an artist, which is why a lot of times, artists have to say ‘Bye, I have to go. I’m going crazy and I’m getting out of here.’ And they go and hibernate somewhere. Maybe later they re-emerge a little differently.”

“I tried to educate him about the details of engineering, but he had no idea how products are created, and after a while it just turned into arguments. But I learned that my perspective was right. Products are everything.”

“What I’m best at doing is finding a group of talented people and making things with them.”

“Part of my responsibility is to be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

“I really wanted to buy [Pixar] because I was really into computer graphics. I realized they were way ahead of others in combining art and technology, which is what I’ve always been interested in.”

“My view is that people are creative animals and will figure out clever new ways to use tools that the inventor never imagined.”

“I believe in environment more than heredity in determining your traits, but still you have to wonder a little about your biological roots.”

“Sculley destroyed Apple by bringing in corrupt people and corrupt values. They cared about making money – for themselves mainly, and also for Apple – rather than making great products.”

“It was then I realized that I do give a shit about Apple – I started it and it is a good thing to have in the world. That was when I decided to go back on a temporary basis to help them hire a CEO.”

“Every once in a while, I find myself in the presence of purity – purity of spirit and love – and I always cry. It always just reaches in and grabs me.”

“We at Apple had forgotten who we were. One way to remember who you are is to remember who your heroes are. That was the genesis of that campaign.”

“Apple is about people who think outside the box, who want to use computers to help them change the world.”

“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.”

“Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do. That’s true for companies, and it’s true for products.”

“I hate the way people use slide presentations instead of thinking. People would confront a problem by creating a presentation. I wanted them to engage, to hash things out at the table, rather than show a bunch of slides. People who know what they’re talking about don’t need PowerPoint.”

“If Apple had been in a less precarious situation, I would have drilled down myself to figure out how to make [the Newton] work. I didn’t trust the people running it. My gut was that there was some really good technology, but it was fucked up by mismanagement. By shutting it down, I freed up some good engineers who could work on new mobile devices.”

“It takes a lot of hard work to make something simple, to truly understand the underlying challenges and come up with elegant solutions.”

“In most people’s vocabularies, design means veneer. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers.”

“When we took it to the engineers, they came up with thirty-eight reasons they couldn’t do it. And I said, ‘No, no, we’re doing this.’ And they said, ‘Well, why?’ And I said, ‘Because I’m the CEO, and I think it can be done.’ And so they kind of grudgingly did it.”

“Our method was to develop integrated products, and that meant our process had to be integrated and collaborative.”

“What I saw with Woz was somebody who was fifty times better than the average engineer. He could have meetings in his head. The Mac team was an attempt to build a whole team like that, A players.”

“You need to have a collaborative hiring process. When we hire someone, even if they’re going to be in marketing, I will have them talk to the design folks and the engineers.”

“If something isn’t right, you can’t just ignore it and say you’ll fix it later. That’s what other companies do.”

“I became even more of a believer in providing end-to-end solutions.”

“If protection of intellectual property begins to disappear, creative companies will disappear or never get started. But there’s a simpler reason: It’s wrong to steal. It hurts other people. And it hurts your own character.”

“I’m one of the few people who understands how producing technology requires intuition and creativity, and how producing something artistic takes real discipline.”

“In the end, you don’t want someone else to control a big part of the user experience.”

“We made the iPod for ourselves, and when you’re doing something for yourself, or your best friend or family, you’re not going to cheese out. If you don’t love something, you’re not going to go the extra mile, work the extra weekend, challenge the status quo as much.”

“[The Beatles] were such perfectionists they kept it going and going. This made a big impression on me when I was in my thirties. You could just tell how much they worked at this. They did a bundle of work between each of these recordings. They kept sending it back to make it closer to perfect. The way we build stuff at Apple is often this way.”

“There’s a temptation in our networked age to think that ideas can be developed by email and iChat. That’s crazy. Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions. You run into someone, you ask what they’re doing, you say ‘Wow,’ and soon you’re cooking up all sorts of ideas.”

“Curiosity is very important.”

“I liked [Finding Nemo] because it was about taking risks and learning to let those you love take risks.”

“My goal has always been not only to make great products, but to build great companies.”

“When you see something that’s so thoughtful on the outside you say, ‘Oh, wow, it must be really thoughtful on the inside.’ We make progress by eliminating things, by removing the superfluous.”

“Everybody likes to be recognized by his peers.”

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

“Because Woz and I started the company based on doing the whole banana, we weren’t so good at partnering with people. And I think if Apple could have had a little more of that in its DNA, it would have served it extremely well.”

“I used to believe that a really big company couldn’t have a clear corporate culture. But I now believe it can be done.”

“I like being responsible for the whole user experience.”

“It hit me that, for young people, this whole world is the same now. When we’re making products, there is no such thing as a Turkish phone, or a music player that young people in Turkey would want that’s different from one young people elsewhere would want. We’re just one world now.”

“It’s important that we make this transformation, because of what Clayton Christensen calls ‘the innovator’s dilemma,’ where people who invent something are usually the last ones to see past it, and we certainly don’t want to be left behind.”

“I want to have a signature campus that expresses the values of the company for generations.”

“I did learn some things along the way. I did learn some things. I really did.”

“I think the biggest innovations of the twenty-first century will be the intersection of biology and technology. A new era is beginning, just like the digital one was when I was [Reed's] age.”

“[Larry Page and I] talked a lot about focus. And choosing people. How to know who to trust, and how to build a team of lieutenants he can count on.”

“One of the things I wanted to do for Apple was to set an example of how you do a transfer of power right.”

“We do these things not because we are control freaks. We do them because we want to make great products, because we care about the user, and because we like to take responsibility for the entire experience rather than turn out the crap that other people make.”

“My job is to say when something sucks rather than sugarcoat it.”

“This is who I am, and you can’t expect me to be someone I’m not.”

“My passion has been to build an enduring company where people were motivated to make great products. Everything else was secondary. Sure, it was great to make a profit, because that was what allowed you to make great products. But the products, not the profits, were the motivation.”

“Some people say, ‘Give the customers what they want.’ But that’s not my approach. Our job is to figure out what they’re going to want before they do.”

“People don’t know what they want until you show it to them. That’s why I never rely on market research. Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page.”

“Edwin Land of Polaroid talked about the intersection of the humanities and science. I like that intersection. There’s something magical about that place. There are a lot of people innovating, and that’s not the main distinction of my career. The reason Apple resonates with people is that there’s a deep current of humanity in our innovation. I think great artists and great engineers are similar, in that they both have a desire to express themselves.”

“I have my own theory about why decline happens at companies like IBM or Microsoft. The company does a great job, innovates and becomes a monopoly or close to it in some field, and then the quality of the product becomes less important. The company starts valuing the great salesmen, because they’re the ones who can move the needle on revenues, not the product engineers and designers. So the salespeople end up running the company.”

“When the sales guys run the company, the product guys don’t matter so much, and a lot of them just turn off.”

“I hate it when people call themselves ‘entrepreneurs’ when what they’re really trying to do is launch a startup and then sell or go public, so they can cash in and move on. They’re unwilling to do the work it takes to build a real company, which is the hardest work in business. That’s how you really make a contribution and add to the legacy of those who went before. You build a company that will still stand for something a generation or two from now.

“I don’t think I run roughshod over people, but if something sucks, I tell people to their face. It’s my job to be honest. I know what I’m talking about, and I usually turn out to be right. That’s the culture I tried to create. We are brutally honest with each other, and anyone can tell me they think I am full of shit and I can tell them the same.”

“I figured that it was always my job to make sure that the team was excellent, and if I didn’t do it, nobody was going to do it.”

“You always have to keep pushing to innovate.”

“That’s what I’ve always tried to do – keep moving. Otherwise, as Dylan says, if you’re not busy being born, you’re busy dying.”

“I think most creative people want to express appreciation for being able to take advantage of the work that’s been done by others before us.”

“Everything I do depends on other members of our species and the shoulders that we stand on. And a lot of us want to contribute something back to our species and to add something to the flow.”

“We try to use the talents we do have to express our deep feelings, to show our appreciation of all the contributions that came before us, and to add something to that flow. That’s what has driven me.”

“For most of my life, I’ve felt that there must be more to our existence than meets the eye. I like to think that something survives after you die. It’s strange to think that you accumulate all this experience, and maybe a little wisdom, and it just goes away. So I really want to believe that something survives, that maybe your consciousness endures. But on the other hand, perhaps it’s like an on-off switch. Click! And you’re gone. Maybe that’s why I never liked to put on-off switches on Apple devices.”

The Steve Jobs Way by Jay Elliot and William Simon (2011)

“You could write a program in Basic let’s say or Fortran and actually this machine would… take your idea an it would… execute your idea and give you back some results. And if they were he results that you predicted, your program really worked. It was an incredibly thrilling experience.”

“You only get to do a limited number of things in your life.”

“I could be doing a lot of other things with my life, but the Macintosh is going to change the world. I believe that, and I’ve chosen people for the team who believe it, too.”

“I think you should go get a job as a busboy or something until you find something you’re really passionate about.”

“About half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance. You put so much of your life into this thing. There are such rough moments in time that I think most people give up. I don’t blame them. It’s really tough and it consumes your life.”

“Okay, I’m the product. What’s happening to me when the buyer tries to take me out of the box and start me up?”

“Maybe we should get a first-grader to write it!”

“The hand is the most used part of your body to implement what your brain wants. If you could only replicate the hand, that would be a killer product.”

“If we need to hire somebody with a particular expertise, somebody else will have to go.”

“It’s hard to know the names of more than a hundred people.”

“Apple should be the kind of place where anybody can walk in and share his ideas with the CEO.”

“I know they complain about me but they’re going to look back on this as the best time of their lives. They just don’t know it yet. But I do. This is a blast.”

“Okay, Jay has decided to kill the project. And he has committed to place all the people. Nobody will lose their job.”

“Great engineers are a huge multiplier.”

“Take them off the list. People need to buy the new one.”

“I understand what you’re saying but you’ve got to get it sooner.”

“You can make it happen.”

“Let’s make one more try at convincing the board members to change their minds. I’m gonna have T-shirts made up that say, ‘We want our Jobs back.’ You get all the employees out for a lunchtime rally and hand out the shirts.”

“I’m a very big believer in equal opportunity… Equal opportunity to me more than anything means a great education… It pains me because we do know how to provide a great education. We really do. We could make sure that every young child in this country got a great education.”

“We need something like what Gutenberg did.”

“I’m as proud of what we don’t do as I am of what we do.”

“Quality is more important than quantity, and it’s a better financial decision. One home run is much better than two doubles.”

“Apple is an incredibly collaborative company. You know how many committees we have at Apple? Zero. We’re structured like a start-up. We’re the biggest start-up on the planet. What I do all day is meet with teams of people and work on ideas and new problems to come up with new products.”

“I started to get scared… The company was increasingly dependent on mega-retailers – companies that had little incentive… to position Apple’s products as anything unique. We have to do something, or we’re going to be a victim of plate tectonics… We have to innovate here.”

“The times they are a changin’, and some traditional PC folks feel like their world is slipping away. It is.”

“Microsoft had (has) every right to enforce whatever rules for their platform they want. If people don’t like it, they can write for another platform, which some did. Or they can buy another platform, which some did. As for us, we’re just doing what we can try to make (and preserve) the user experience we envision. You can disagree with us, but our motives are pure.”

Inside Steve’s Brain by Leander Kahney (2009)

“Apple has some tremendous assets, but I believe without some attention, the company could, could, could – I’m searching for the right word – could, could die.”

“We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them.”

“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

“In our business, one person can’t do anything anymore. You create a team of people around you.”

“I want to put a ding in the universe.”

“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.”

“Software is the user experience. As the iPod and iTunes prove, it has become the driving technology not just of computers but of consumer electronics.”

“I’ve always wanted to own and control the primary technology in everything we do.”

“I would absolutely have ended up in jail.”

“[Electronic devices] were not mysteries anymore. [It] became much more clear that they were the results of human creation, not these magical things.”

“Tell me what’s wrong with this place. It’s the products. The products SUCK! There’s no sex in them anymore.”

“I don’t think you’ll be able to boot up any computer today in 20 years. [But] Snow White has sold 28 million copies, and it’s a 60-year-old production. People don’t read Herodotus or Homer to their kids anymore, but everybody watches movies. These are our myths today. Disney puts those myths into our culture, and hopefully Pixar will, too.”

“What I found when I got here was a zillion and one products. It was amazing. And I started to ask people, now why would I recommend a 3400 over a 4400? When should somebody jump up to a 6500, but not a 7300? And after three weeks, I couldn’t figure this out. If I couldn’t figure this out… how could our customers figure this out?”

“You don’t need to take notes. If it’s important, you’ll remember it.”

“Apple is in serious financial straits and we can’t afford to do anything extra.”

“If Apple is going to survive, we’ve got to cut more.”

“What are the great brands? Levi’s, Coke, Disney, Nike. Most people would put Apple in that category. You could spend billions of dollars building a brand not as good as Apple. Yet Apple hasn’t been doing anything with this incredible asset. What is Apple, after all? Apple is about people who think outside the box, people who want to use computers to help them change the world, to help them create things that make a difference, and not just to get a job done.”

“It’s like turning a big tanker. There were a lot of lousy deals that we’re undoing.”

“I’d never been so tired in my life. I’d come home at about ten o’clock at night and flop straight into bed, then haul myself out at six the next morning and take a shower and go to work. My wife deserves all the credit for keeping me at it. She supported me and kept the family together with a husband in absentia.”

“I wouldn’t be honest if some days I didn’t question whether I made the right decision in getting involved. But I believe life is an intelligent thing – that things aren’t random.”

“If we could make four great product platforms that’s all we need. We can put our A team on every single one of them instead of having a B or a C team on any. We can turn them much faster.”

“The organization is clean and simple to understand, and very accountable. Everything just got simpler. That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity.”

“Focus means saying no.”

“We look at a lot of things, but I’m as proud of the products that we have not done as I am of the ones we have done.”

“We got enormous pressure to do a PDA and we looked at it and we said, ‘Wait a minute, 90 percent of the people that use these things just want to get information out of them, they don’t necessarily want to put information into them on a regular basis and cellphones are going to do that.”

“The roots of Apple were to build computers for people, not for corporations. The world doesn’t need another Dell or Compaq.”

“You’re the guys who designed Mac OS, right? Well, you’re a bunch of idiots.”

“This is the first evidence of three-digit intelligence at Apple I’ve seen yet.”

“As technology becomes more complex, Apple’s core strength of knowing how to make very sophisticated technology comprehensible to mere mortals is in even greater demand.”

“We have a lot of customers and we have a lot of research into our installed base. We also watch industry trends pretty carefully. But in the end, for something this complicated, it’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

“Let’s keep doing it till we git it right, OK?”

“Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works. The design of the Mac wasn’t what it looked like, although that was part of it. Primarily, it was how it worked. To design something really well, you have to get it. You have to really grok what it’s all about. It takes a passionate commitment to really thoroughly understand something, chew it up, not just quickly swallow it. Most people don’t take the time to do that.”

“When you start looking at a problem and think it’s really simple, you don’t understand how complex the problem really is. Once you get into the problem… you see that it’s complicated, and you come up with all these convoluted solutions. That’s where most people stop, and the solutions tend to work for a while. But the really great person will keep going, find the underlying problem, and come up with an elegant solution that works on every level. That’s what we wanted to do with the Mac.”

“It was clear to me that for every hardware hobbyist who wanted to assemble his own computer, there were a thousand people who couldn’t do that but wanted to mess around with programming… just like I did when I was 10.”

“Artists sign their work.”

“I end up not buying a lot of things because I find them ridiculous.”

“What happened? They had it! They had it in the palm of their hands! They grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory!… What happened was, the designers came up with this really great idea. Then they take it to the engineers, and the engineers go, ‘Nah, we can’t do that. That’s impossible.’ And so it gets a lot worse. Then they take it to the manufacturing people, and they go, ‘We can’t build that!’ And it gets a lot worse.”

“I always considered part of my job was to keep the quality level of people in the organizations I work with very high. That’s what I consider one of the few things I actually can contribute individually to – to really try to instill in the organization the goal of only having ‘A’ players. In everything I’ve done it really pays to go after the best people in the world.”

“The people who are doing the work are the moving force behind the Macintosh. My job is to create a space for them, to clear out the rest of the organization and keep it at bay.”

“It’s painful when you have some people who are not the best people in the world and you have to get rid of them; but I found that my job has sometimes exactly been that – to get rid of some people who didn’t measure up and I’ve always tried to do it in a humane way. But nonetheless it has to be done and it is never fun.”

“My dream is that every person in the world will have their own Apple computer. To do that, we’ve got to be a great marketing company.”

“We were very lucky – we grew up in a generation where music was an incredibly intimate part of that generation. More intimate than it had been, and maybe more intimate than it is today, because today there’s a lot of other alternatives. We didn’t have video games to play. We didn’t have personal computers. There’s so many other things competing for kids’ time now. But, nonetheless, music is really being reinvented in this digital age, and that is bringing it back into people’s lives. It’s a wonderful thing. And in our own small way, that’s how we’re working to make the world a better place.”

“For a very special moment, all of us have come together to make this new product. We feel this may be the best thing we’ll ever do with our lives.”

“Unless you have a lot of passion about this, you’re not going to survive. You’re going to give it up. So you’ve got to have an idea or a problem or a wrong that you want to right that you’re passionate about; otherwise you’re not going to have the perseverance to stick it through. I think that’s half the battle right there.”

“I’ve always been attracted to the more revolutionary changes. I don’t know why. Because they’re harder. They’re much more stressful emotionally. And you usually go through a period where everybody tells you that you’ve completely failed.”

“At Apple we gave all our employees stock options very early on. We were among the first in Silicon Valley to do that. And when I returned, I took away most of the cash bonuses and replaced them with options. No cars, no planes, no bonuses. Basically, everybody gets a salary and stock… It’s a very egalitarian way to run a company that Hewlett-Packard pioneered and that Apple, I would like to think, helped establish.”

“Many times in an interview I will purposely upset someone: I’ll criticize their prior work. I’ll do my homework, find out what they worked on, and say, ‘God, that really turned out to be a bomb. That really turned out to be a bozo product. Why did you work on that?…’ I want to see what people are like under pressure. I want to see if they just fold or if they have firm conviction, belief, and pride in what they did.”

“I’ve never known an HR person who had anything but a mediocre mentality.”

“We consciously think about making great products. We don’t think, ‘Let’s be innovative! Let’s take a class! Here are the five rules of innovation, let’s put them up all over the company!”

“We are going to innovate ourselves out of this downturn.”

“We beat Dell on operational metrics every quarter. We are absolutely as good of a manufacturer as Dell. Our logistics are as good as Dell’s Our online store is better than Dell’s.”

“Innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem. It’s ad hoc meetings of six people called by someone who thinks he has figured out the coolest new thing ever and who wants to know what other people think of his idea.”

“You can convert raw footage that you’d normally never look at again on your camcorder into an incredibly emotional piece of communication. Professional. Personal. It’s amazing… it has ten times as much value to you.”

“You need a very product-oriented culture, even in a technology company. Lots of companies have tons of great engineers and smart people. But ultimately, there needs to be some gravitational force that pulls it all together.”

“Who usually ends up running the show? The sales guy. Then one day, the monopoly expires for whatever reason. But by then the best product people have left, or they’re no longer listened to. And so the company goes through this tumultuous time, and it either survives or it doesn’t.”

“You know, our friends up north spent over $5 billion on R&D, but these days all they seem to be copying is Google and Apple. Shows money doesn’t buy everything.”

“The older I get, the more I’m convinced that motives make so much difference. HP’s primary goal was to make great products. And our primary goal here is to make the world’s best PC – not to be the biggest or the richest. For a time, those goals got flipped at Apple and that subtle change made all the difference. When I got back, we had to make it a product company again.”

“You can’t really predict exactly what will happen, but you can feel the direction that we’re going. And that’s about as close as you can get. Then you just stand back and get out of the way, and these things take on a life of their own.”

“You try to spot those things and how they’re going to be changing over time and which horses you want to ride at any point in time. 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.”

“We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.”

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people… Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. They broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.”

“I’ve never believed that [art and technology] are separate. Leonardo da Vinci was a great artist and a great scientist. Michelangelo knew a tremendous amount about how to cut stone at the quarry. The finest dozen computer scientists I know are all musicians. Some are better than others, but they all consider that an important part of their life. I don’t believe that the best people in any of these fields see themselves as one branch of a forked tree. I just don’t see that. People bring these things together a lot. Dr Land at Polaroid said, ‘I want Polaroid to stand at the intersection of art and science,’ and I’ve never forgotten that. I think that that’s possible, and I think a lot of people have tried.”

“We’re going to operate with a little bit of fear, because retailing is a hard business.”

“The real estate was a lot more expensive, but people didn’t have to gamble with 20 minutes of their time. They only had to gamble with 20 footsteps of their time.”

“We realized Apple was uniquely suited to do this because we are the last company in this business that has all the components under one roof.”

“Apple’s the only company left in this industry that designs the whole widget. Hardware, software, developer relations, marketing. It turns out that that, in my opinion, is Apple’s greatest strategic advantage. We didn’t have a plan, so it looked like this was a tremendous deficit. But with a plan, it’s Apple’s core strategic advantage, if you believe that there’s still room for innovation in this industry, which I do, because Apple can innovate faster than anyone else.”

“It seems to take a very unique combination of technology, talent, business and marketing and luck to make significant change in our industry.”

“You need a very product-oriented culture, even in a technology company. Lots of companies have tons of great engineers and smart people. But ultimately, there needs to be some gravitational force that pulls it all together.”

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

The Perfect Thing by Steven Levy (2006)

“I’ll be glad to tell you how many they sell, but I don’t do predictions.”

“I think that we’re feeling good about coming out with [the iPod] at a difficult time [after September 11th]. Hopefully it will bring a little joy to people… It’s a tough time, but life goes on. It must go on.”

“It all clicked for me when we designed the user interface. We had the wheel, and we started to lay out the menus and argue about this and that, and it took us about a week where we had most of it done, and once you saw the user interface and how easy it was going to be to get around and how well the wheel worked and how well the concepts of the user interface worked, then it was really clear that you’d be able to [navigate through] a thousand songs. Having a thousand songs in your pocket wouldn’t be that exciting if you couldn’t navigate and access them easily. Once that user interface clicked, it was like, ‘Oh, my God, this is gonna be so cool.’”

“If there was ever a product that catalyzed what’s Apple’s reason for being, it’s this. Because it combines Apple’s incredible technology base with Apple’s legendary ease of use with Apple’s awesome design. Those three things come together in this, and it’s like, that’s what we do. So if anybody was ever wondering why is Apple on the earth, I would hold this up as a good example.”

“The whole purpose of the ‘Think Different’ campaign was that people had forgotten about what Apple stood for, including the employees. We thought long and hard about how you tell somebody what you stand for, what your values are, and it occurred to us that if you don’t know somebody very well, you can ask them, ‘Who are your heroes?’ You can learn a lot about people by hearing who their heroes are. So we said, ‘Okay, we’ll tell them who our heroes are.’”

“[Design is] not just about looking good, it’s about the use of the product.”

“We make progress by eliminating things. It’s a much more courageous approach, much harder than living with all this [cheaper] stuff that most people live with. Saying this is not necessary, we can take this out. And you’re left with just the essential thing.”

“People in Hollywood think that technology is just something you buy, and they don’t think it’s a creative process at all. All of a sudden the Internet comes along and people start to steal their product. They’re shell-shocked by Napster, and they’re looking for someone to blame. And they blame the technology industry. Since the technology industry doesn’t appreciate how much work goes into making these products, they dismiss these things – ‘Well, they have to adapt to a new business model.’ Both are dead wrong.”

“Our smaller market share turned out to be an asset! We only convinced them to let us do it on the Mac at first. We said, ‘Well, if, you know, if the virus gets out, it’s only going to pollute five percent of the garden here.’ And that’s probably what, in the end, enabled us to get them to come along with us. Doug Morris, who runs Universal, said, when he was arguing with his own team, ‘Look, how – I don’t understand how Apple could ruin the record business in one year on Mac. Why shouldn’t we try this?’”

“We told them that to compete with Kazaa, we had to offer users broad personal-use rights. Like being able to burn as many CDs as you want. And being able to put your music on as many iPods as you want, being able to put it on more than one computer. They were not in that mind-set when we first talked.”

“We had a lot of the pieces in place. The store runs on top of our internal systems, which uses SAP, so it’s very rigorous in terms of its controls and its transaction processing and all that stuff, so that saved a lot. And we already had lots of expertise in sending bits all over the planet, because we’re the number one movie trailer download site in the world.”

“If they want to raise prices, it means that they are getting greedy. If the price goes up, [the consumers] will go back to piracy and everybody loses.”

“I didn’t call anybody greedy, except those who would choose to extract more money out of the consumer.”

“I guess we’re a big corporation, but it doesn’t feel that way to us.”

“When he died, I went on the site and I looked at all the Johnny Cash stuff and was listening to that. I’d never heard that, that old Beatles song, and it’s beautiful. That was one of the last recordings he made. And you could imagine him singing that to his wife. Here’s a guy who’s done what he’s done in his life, who he’s been, what he’s been through, and he’s singing that song and you know he’s thinking about his wife, who’s recently departed. It doesn’t get any richer than that. So to me it’s just one of those reminders of how powerful music can be in your life.”

“The iPod is three years old next month. When we started this, nobody really knew what it was, and people that did really didn’t believe it would be a big hit. And when we were trying to do the iTunes Music Store, it was such an uphill battle. Everybody in the industry [thought it wouldn’t work]. It was almost impossible. And to see it blossom into what it’s become, and to see U2 performing at our event, it was just – I’m trying to think of the word. I don’t have a word. When they were on, I was sitting next to one of my close colleagues at Apple and I socked him on the leg really hard and said, ‘We’re going to remember this for the rest of our lives.’ That’s how I felt. It was really great.”

“We wanted to make something great at $99, so that people who can’t afford a mini have a way into the digital music revolution without buying the [competing] pieces of crap that’re out there.”

“I love what we’re doing at Apple now, I think it’s the best work that Apple’s ever done. But I think all of us on the Mac team point to that as the high point of our careers. It’s like [the Beatles] playing Shea Stadium. We were really working fourteen-to-eighteen-hour days, seven days a week. For, like, two years. Three years. That was our life. But we loved it, we were young, and we could do it.”

“I’ll just continue until I can hand the baton off to someone else… I think we should go out and recruit a really great CEO. I am the CEO of Pixar, and I really love my job… My hat is not in the ring to be CEO.”

“I never go in there. Do you know that [Gil Amelio] wanted to install a private men’s room here that would cost a half-million dollars?”

“Isn’t that just great?… It’s not just ‘neat,’ it’s fucking fantastic.”

“[Wi-fi] technology has been around, but nobody uses it. It hasn’t been cheap enough. Two, somebody makes the wireless card, somebody makes the computer, and somebody makes the software, and they’re three different companies. If you go to Microsoft and say, ‘Wireless is the most important thing,’ they’ll go, ‘Hey, get in line, maybe in two years we’ll talk to you.’ If you go to Dell and say, ‘Wireless is important,’ they’ll say, ‘No, it’s not.’ So when we decided to do it, we said, ‘Wireless networking is one of our major initiatives at Apple. We’re going to make our hardware work with it, make our OS operate with it, bring it to the marketplace.’”

“We really had a debate whether to take the iPod to Windows or not. The answer that we came out with unanimously inside the senior team of the company was ‘This is such an incredible opportunity we have to redefine the music business that we’re not going to keep this just as a lure to sell more Macs.’ Now we will have the added advantage of putting an Apple product in people’s hands. If they love it, they’ll want to see the rest of the Apple products. But even putting that aside, we felt this opportunity was so big that we were going to go for it.”

“I usually get up in the beginning and say something like ‘Our revenues have doubled in the last two years. And our stock price is high and our shareholders are happy. And a lot of people think it’s really great, we’ve got a lot to lose, let’s play it safe. That’s the most dangerous thing we can do. We have to get bolder, because we have world-class competitors now and we just can’t stand still.”

“We are going to redefine the whole industry. By coming up with a player that’s a full-featured iPod, color display, a click wheel, dock connector, photos, everything – at a size that completely changes the rules.”

“We might be able to do this. There might be enough flash in the world. We might be able to design a click wheel that thin. There might be the engineering to do this.”

“I remember going over the model with Jon. We were giddy. People had told us it was impossible when we showed them the layouts. This was not easy, but we pulled it off.”

“I was one of the more aggressive folks in the room. We had already made a decision to revamp most of our iPod product line right before the holidays. Those were actually even bigger decisions, because if something had gone wrong and we couldn’t have ramped them, it would have been zero – we would have had a lot of sets of parts sitting around. Given the attempt to do that, my feeling was, if we were a little too aggressive, they would still sell. They were the best products we ever made. So we sat around and had some meaningful discussions about what that number should be, and we ended up picking the highest of the numbers. I was willing to be pretty aggressive.”

“I think back to Detroit in the seventies, when cars were so bad. Why? The people running the companies then didn’t love cars. One of the things wrong with the PC industry today is that most of the people running the companies don’t love PCs. Does Steve Ballmer love PCs? Does Craig Barrett love PCs? Does Michael Dell love PCs? If [Michael Dell] wasn’t selling PCs he’d be selling something else. These people don’t love what they create. And people here do.”

“[Podcasts are] basically turning people into radio stations, which is wonderful.”

“We all grew up in the golden age of music, the golden age of rock and roll. [Music is] going to be around as long as humans are around. So it’s not like we’re making a gizmo and taking it out in the world and trying to convince everybody they need it. We don’t have to convince people that they love music. People know that already. So all we’re doing is reinventing the experience of enjoying music, because you have your whole library with you.”

iCon Steve Jobs by Jeffrey Young and William Simon (2005)

“I get to come to work every day and work with the most talented people on the planet, at Apple and Pixar. The best job in the world. But these jobs are team sports.”

“There were eighteen hundred things I could do, but every one had some probability that he would shoot me in the stomach. I handed over the box.”

“We weren’t going to find a place where we could go for a month to be enlightened. It was one of the first times that I started to realize that maybe Thomas Edison did a lot more to improve the world than Karl Marx and Neem Kairolie Baba put together.”

“The real jump of the Apple II was that it was a finished product. It was the first computer that you could buy that wasn’t a kit. It was fully assembled and had its own case and its own keyboard, and you could actually sit down and use it. And that was the breakthrough of the Apple II: that it looked like a real product. You didn’t have to be a hardware hobbyist with the Apple II. That’s what the Apple II was all about.”

“I settled [the paternity suit] because we were going public, and it was consuming a ton of emotional energy. I had to get it resolved. I didn’t want to defend a suit for ten million dollars.”

“There are tens of thousands of people who have a net worth of more than $1 million. There are thousands of people who are worth more than $10 million. But the number who have more than $100 million gets down to 100.”

“Woz ended up giving stock to all the wrong people. Woz couldn’t say no. A lot of people took advantage from him”

“It is coming down to Apple and IBM. If, for some reason we make some big mistake and IBM wins, my personal feeling is that we are going to enter sort of a computer Dark Ages for about twenty years. Once IBM gains control of a market sector, they always stop innovation. They prevent innovations from happening. If you look at the mainframe marketplace, there’s been virtually zero innovation since IBM got dominant control of that marketplace fifteen years ago. The IBM PC fundamentally brought no new technology to the industry at all. It was just a repackaging and slight extension of Apple II technology, and now they want it all. Apple is providing the alternative.”

“We think the Mac will sell zillions, but we didn’t build Mac for anybody else. We built it for ourselves. We were the group of people who were going to judge whether it was great or not. We weren’t going to go out and do market research. Did Alexander Graham Bell do any market research when he invented the telephone? Of course not.”

“Are you going to sell sugar water for the rest of your life when you could be doing something really important?”

“I’m just an ordinary guy. Why can’t they understand that?”

“Things don’t always happen the way I want them. Just like Mick Jagger said, ‘You can’t always get what you want; sometimes you get what you need.’”

“I’m not a power-oriented person. I care about Apple a great deal. I put pretty much my entire adult life into building great products and building a great company. So I’m going to give what I can to further Apple. If that means sweeping the floors, I’ll sweep the floors. If that means cleaning the toilet, I’ll clean the toilet.”

“What I did with the Macintosh team was to give them recognition for their work: I’m not so sure it was good. I may have made a mistake. It was a good concept, but it went a little too far. A lot of it went to their heads. For a few people, it is very difficult when things happen. You have to think very strongly about your inner values – what really is important for you. When things happen very fast, you don’t have the time. It can scramble your brain.”

“Most of the corporate management reports stopped flowing to my desk. A few people might see my car in the parking lot and come over and commiserate. And I would get depressed and go home in two or three or four hours, really depressed. I did that a few times, and I decided that it was mentally unhealthy. So I just stopped going in. You know, there was nobody really there to miss me.”

“You’ve probably had somebody punch you in the stomach. It knocks the wind out of you, and you can’t breathe. If you relax, you can start breathing again. That’s how I felt. The thing I had to do was try to relax. It was hard. But I went for a lot of long walks in the woods and didn’t really talk to a lot of people.”

“I think what I’m best at is creating new, innovative products. That’s what I enjoy doing. I enjoy, and I’m best working with, a small team of talented people. That’s what I did with the Apple II, and that’s what I did with the Macintosh.”

“I had a piece of paper one day, and I was writing down the things that I cared the most about, that I was most proud of personally in my ten years at Apple. There’s obviously the creation of the Apple II and the Macintosh. But other than that, the thing that I really cared about was helping to set up the Apple Education Foundation. I came up with this crazy idea that turned into a program called ‘The Kids Can’t Wait,’ in which we tried to give a computer to every school in America and ended up giving one to every school in California, about ten thousand computers. I put those two together, working with small teams of talented people to create breakthrough products and education.”

“[Paul Berg] was showing me how they were doing gene repairing. Actually, it’s straightforward. It’s kind of neat. It smells a lot like some of the concepts you find in computer science. He was explaining how he does experiments in a wet laboratory, and they take a week or two to run. I asked him, ‘Why don’t you simulate them on a computer? Not only will it allow you to run your experiments faster, but someday every freshman microbiology student in the country can play with Paul Berg recombinant software.’ His eyes lit up.”

“We have no business plan. We haven’t done anything. Now, you might say we’re all crazy. But we’ve all known each other for four years. And we have an immense amount of confidence in each other’s abilities and genuinely like each other. We all have a desire to have a small company where we can influence its destiny and have a really fun place to work.”

“What I’m best at doing is finding a group of talented people and making things with them. I respect the direction that Apple is going in. But for me personally, you know, I want to make things. And if there’s no place for me to make things there, then I’ll do what I did twice before. I’ll make my own place.”

“I helped shepherd Apple from a garage to a billion-and-a-half-dollar company. It took a bunch of rambunctious upstarts, working with very little resources but a certain vision and commitment, to do it. I’m probably not the best person in the world to shepherd it to a five or ten billion dollar company, which I think is probably its destiny. And so I haven’t got any sort of odd chip on my shoulder about proving anything to myself or anybody else. I had ten of the best years of my life, you know, and I don’t regret much of anything. I want to get on with my life.”

“My heart will always be there. My relationship with the company is like a first love. I’ll always remember Apple in the same way any man remembers the first woman he’s fallen in love with. To me, Apple exists in the spirit of the people who work there and the philosophies and purpose by which they go about their business. If Apple becomes a place where computers are a commodity item, where the romance is gone, and where people forget that computers are the most incredible invention that man has ever invented, 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 there.”

“We don’t want to get involved with an unjustified lawsuit. We just want to build our company and invent something new.”

“Pixar’s vision was to tell stories – to make real films. Our vision was to make the world’s first animated feature film – completely computer synthetic, sets, characters, everything.”

“There’s only one person who can rally the Apple troops, only one person who can straighten out the company.”

“If you think there’s something for you in NeXT, I’ll structure any kind of deal you want – license the software, sell you the company, whatever you want. When you take a close look, you’ll decide you want more than my software. You’ll want to buy the whole company and take all the people.”

“If [artists] keep on risking failure, they’re still artists. Dylan and Picasso were always risking failure. The Apple thing is that way for me. I don’t want to fail, of course. But even though I didn’t know how bad things really were, I still had a lot to think about before I said ‘yes’. I had to consider the implications for my family, for my reputation. I decided that I didn’t really care, because this is what I want to do. If I try my best and fail, well, I tried my best.”

“In most people’s vocabularies, ‘design’ means veneer. It is interior decorating. It’s the fabric of the curtains and the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.”

“The people had been told they were losers for so long, they were on the verge of giving up. The first six months were very bleak, and at times I got close to throwing in the towel, too.”

“I think Pixar has the opportunity to be the next Disney.”

“Computers are still awful. They’re too complicated and don’t do what you really want them to do – or do those things as well as they could. We have a long way to go. People are still making automobiles after nearly 100 years. Telephones have been around a long time, but even so, the cellular revolution was pretty exciting.”

“My purpose in coming back to Apple was that our industry was in a coma. It reminded me of Detroit in the ‘70s, when American cars were boats on wheels.”

“We’ve reviewed the road map of new products and axed more than 70 percent of them, keeping the 30 percent that were gems.”

“We have a lot of customers, and we have a lot of research into our installed base. We also watch industry trends pretty carefully. But in the end, for something this complicated, it’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

“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 problem with the Internet start-up craze isn’t that too many people are starting companies; it’s that too many people aren’t sticking with it. That’s somewhat understandable, because there are many moments filled with despair and agony, when you have to fire people and cancel things and deal with very difficult situations. That’s when you find out who you are and what your values are.”

“If there were opportunities, we’d see them.”

“You can’t imagine how many people thought we’re crazy for not doing a Palm. I won’t lie; we thought about that a lot. But I started asking myself, How useful are they, really? How many people at a given meeting show up with one? Whether I was here or at Disney or at Pixar, the percentage peaked about a year ago at 50 percent, and it’s now dwindled to less than 10 percent. It kind of went up really fast and then went down. I don’t mean to be disrespectful to those guys at Palm at all. I’m just saying I don’t think early cultures had organizers, but I do know they had music. It’s in our DNA. Everybody loves it. This isn’t a speculative market.”

“Apple has done what Apple does best – make complex applications easy, and make them even more powerful in the process.”

“Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But, of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works. To design something really well, you have to ‘get it.’ You have to really grok what it’s all about. It takes a passionate commitment to really thoroughly understand something… Most people don’t take the time to do that.”

“Why music? Well, we love music, and it’s always good to do something you love.”

“It’s best not to mess with karma.”

“We have spent the last ten years growing our creative talent base and our technical talent base. There are skills that you cannot go out and acquire on the outside. There are not people out there that know how to do these things you can go hire. So you have to grow them.”

“The system is that there is no system. That doesn’t mean we don’t have a process.”

“We live in an era where more and more of our activities depend on technology. We take our photos without film and have to do something with them to make them usable. We get our music over the Internet and carry it around in digital music players. It’s in your automobile and your kitchen. Apple’s core strength is to bring very high technology to mere mortals in a way that surprises and delights them and that they can figure out how to use. Software is the key to that. In fact, software is the user experience.”

“[Turning fifty] makes us look further ahead, but it doesn’t make us more patient. You know better what questions to ask. There aren’t enough good people to do everything you want to do. So now we chew on things for a while before we decide to have the A-team go after something. That’s not the same as being more patient.”

“We’re born, we live for a brief instant, and we die. It’s been happening for a long time. Technology is not changing it much, if at all.”

“Parenthood changes one’s world. It’s almost like a switch gets flipped inside you, and you can feel a whole new range of feelings that you never thought you’d have.”

“Just to try to be as good a father to them as my father was to me. I think about that every day of my life.”

“The great thing is that Apple’s DNA hasn’t changed. The place where Apple has been standing for the past two decades is exactly where computer technology and the consumer electronics markets are converging. So it’s not like we’re having to cross the river to go somewhere else; the other side of the river is coming to us.”

“I would like you to join me in thanking all the people at Apple who’ve worked so hard to create all these new products. I want to thank the families and the spouses of all the people at Apple because I know you’d like to have us around a little more.”

The Second Coming of Steve Jobs by Alan Deutschman (2000)

“Everyone here can leave – except me.”

“[It could have been worse]. If you were me.”

“I want the very best I can get!”

“That’s the kind of Porsche that dentists drive.”

“John Sculley wouldn’t know a new product if it hit him on the head.”

“Aren’t you embarrassed to serve such shitty food?”

“I would have married Joan Baez but she was too old to have my children.”

“That’s what I like about you. If I tell you to do something, you either do it or not.”

“Do you color your hair? Why do you color your hair? What color is it naturally?”

“So, you’re Heidi’s mother? What drugs were you on when you conceived her.”

“We called you here because we’re not happy with your work and we’re going to fire you.”

“I think [young, superintelligent, artistic women] are in New York rather than Silicon Valley.”

“We’re going to get our revenge. We’re going to kick their ass.”

“You’ve baked a really lovely cake, but then you’ve used dog shit for frosting.”

“I’m Steve Jobs, and I am not the president of Apple Computer.”

“We want to sell you computers.”

“You’re not going to believe what I just did! I just cut a deal to make three movies for Katzenberg!”

“How do I explain why the CFO quits without it looking bad for the rest of the company?”

“Stay here for your fuck-you money.”

“Can’t I just win one thing.”

“I have a family. I have other interests.”

“Bill, between us, we own one hundred percent of the desktop.”

“You made a bet on me before and it turned out well.”

“CEOs are supposed to have class. I can see that isn’t an opinion you hold.”

“OK, I think you know who I am. Who are you and what can you do for me?”

“That was the worst thing I’ve seen in my life! We don’t need your services. It’s nothing personal. I’m sorry you had to come in on a Saturday, but we don’t need you.”

“What I’m going to say now can’t leave this room. If it does, I’ll fire you. So look around and see if you can trust the other people. If not, leave now.”

“You mean that in a while you won’t have a job? Well, good, because I need someone to do some grunt work.”

“If you had to cut half your products, what would you do?”

“If money were no object, what would you do?”

“Please do not come to Apple. You will be asked to leave, and if you don’t you will be arrested.”

“I know what I want and I know what they want.”

“[My goal is] to match Compaq’s ship rate.”

“Everybody in service and support is fucking brain dead… It’s up to you to prove me wrong.”

“I have arrived, I am Gil, and I am fat!… Service in this company is all fucked up and the people running it are all brain dead.”

“Jeff, that might be the way you did it at HP, but I’m not a three-month guy. I’m an overnight guy.”

“Call them and say fuck ‘em.”

“Just fuck ‘em.”

“We’re trying to build a second [Disney].”

“I have no time for this philosophical bullshit. I’m a very busy person.”

“I don’t think you guys can do this.”

“Nothing you say means anything to me. Why do you keep opening your mouth?”

“You don’t know whereof you speak.”

Infinite Loop by Michael Malone (1999)

“Everyone knew what they wanted to do with their lives. And I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life.”

“Come up with a better name than Apple by five P.M. or that’s it.”

“Have you read Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions? No? I’ll get you a copy.”

“What the Apple computer really is is a fractional horsepower motor. Or, rather, it’s a bicycle.”

“I see only B and C players here. All the A players work for me in the Macintosh division. I might be interested in hiring two or three of you. Don’t you wish you knew which ones I’ll choose?”

“People think I’m an asshole, don’t they?”

“What we’re doing has never been done before. We’re trying to build a totally different kind of company, and we need really great people… My dream is that every person in the world will have their own Apple computer. To do that, we’ve got to be a great marketing company.”

“What are you showing me this for? This is a piece of crap! Anybody could build a better drive than this.”

“When we spoke of a two-horse race in personal computers in 1984 it might have seemed like we were on a collision course with IBM. But in 1985, as the smoke clears from the ’84 shakeout, many of those large corporations are telling us that they’re going to use both Apple and IBM workstations, or that they want to use Macintoshes to talk with their IBM mainframes. It’s imperative that we talk with the IBM part of the world, that we exchange information and have frequent discourse. So, for 1985, Apple proposes détente with IBM.”

“If you do that, you’re going to destroy this company! I’m the only one who understands enough here about manufacturing and operations, and I don’t think you understand these things yet. You’re too far removed from the actual day in, day out operations, and if I’m not overseeing this, we’re not going to get any new products out and we’re not going to succeed!”

“I think you’re bad for Apple and I think you’re the wrong person to run this company. You really should leave this company. I’m more worried about Apple than I ever have been. I’m afraid of you. You don’t know how to operate and never have. John, you manage by monologue! You have no understanding of the product development process. You don’t know how manufacturing works. You’re not close to the company. The middle managers don’t respect you.”

“Apple is on its way out of business. The only thing that can save it is a strong leader, somebody who can rally employees, the press, users and developers. The world has changed, the Mac has outlived its usefulness, it’s time to go on to something else.”

“Microsoft dominates… That’s over. Apple lost.”

“Apple has suffered from lousy engineering management. I think Apple has had its head in the sand for… many years.”

“I still have enough faith in Apple’s management that I told Larry Ellison not to try to take over Apple.”

“The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste. I don’t mean that in a small way. I mean that in a big way, in the sense that they don’t think of original ideas and they don’t bring much culture into their products. I have no problem with their success – they’ve earned their success for the most part. I have a problem with the fact that they just make really third-rate products.”

“We have to let go of the notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft needs to lose. The era of competition between Microsoft and Apple is over, as far as I’m concerned.”

“I wish him the best, I really do. I just think he and Microsoft are a bit narrow. He’d be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger.”

On the Firing Line by Gil Amelio and William Simon (1998)

“I certainly couldn’t have done that and I don’t know of anyone who could have, other than you. It was one of the more brilliant business maneuvers I’ve ever seen.”

“I’m on my way to Japan, but I’ll be back in a week and I’d like to see you as soon as I return. Don’t make a decision until we can get together and talk.”

“It struck me that there might be an opportunity for NeXT to help Apple. I have no idea whether you guys will have any interest in this at all, but let me just tell you what I think is appealing. It’s probably a totally crazy idea, and I don’t even know why I’m here talking to you, but let’s see what it feels like.”

“If you think there’s something for you in NeXT, I’ll structure any kind of deal you want – license the software, sell you the company, whatever you want.”

“When you take a close look, you’ll decide you want more than the software. You’ll want to buy the whole company and take all the people.”

“Would you like to go for a walk?”

“I didn’t get any sleep last night… I was thinking about all the things that need to be done and about the deal we’re making and it’s all running together for me. I’m really tired now and not thinking clearly. I just don’t want to be asked any more questions.”

“Look, if you have to tell them something, just say advisor to the chairman.”

“Can I be on the board of directors?”

“Gil, that really hurts. This was my company. I’ve been left out since that horrible day with Sculley. But Apple has always been a part of me.”

“I understand. But I want you to know how much this really hurts.”

“I think you ought to kill Newton… Shut it down, write it off, get rid of it… It doesn’t matter what it costs, people would cheer if you got rid of it.”

“Gil, you and I need to go out and have a great bottle of wine to celebrate closing the deal.”

“I get along real well with Gil, I think he trusts me.”

“I really don’t understand what’s going on, Gil. I think all this is crazy. You and I have a good relationship, I don’t see any reason to make any changes.”

“Well, I’m giving Gil the best advice I know how.”

“I’ve got all the money I need, I’d have no reason for selling [NeXT shares].”

“Yeah, I didn’t want to fess up to it because I was a little embarrassed. I was sort of in a fit of depression at the time and I just felt the company was hopeless and so I just did a spontaneous thing and sold my shares. I feel really bad about it.”

“Gee, Gil, I just want you to know, I talked to Ed about this thing and I feel really bad about it. I want you to know that I had absolutely nothing to do with this turn of events, it was a decision the board made, but they had asked me for advice and counsel. You’re a man with the highest integrity of anyone I’ve ever met. You’re a real classy individual. Take six months off, don’t do anything, don’t try to find a job, don’t work on anything, just take six months off and do nothing.”

“When I got thrown out of Apple, I immediately went back to work, and I regretted it. I should have taken that time for myself. I wish I had. When you start to think about what you want to do next, please feel free to call on me, I’d be happy to act as a sounding board on what might make sense for you. If you just need someone to talk to, I’m here.”

Insanely Great by Steven Levy (1994)

“I think you’re making a big mistake by not putting the Mac on the cover.”

“I know what it’s like to have your private life painted in the worst possible light in front of a lot of people.”

“Computers and society are out on a first date in this decade and for some crazy reason we’re just in the right place at the right time to make that romance blossom.”

“I look at most of the people I get to work with as artists. I look at myself as an artist if anything.”

“It’s a way of expressing feelings. Wanting to put something back into the world. You know, we don’t grow most of the food we eat. We wear clothes other people make. We speak a language that other people developed. We use a mathematics that other people evolved… I mean, we’re constantly taking things. It’s a wonderful, ecstatic feeling to create something that puts it back in the pool of human experience and knowledge. I think actually one can influence things as much or more from the private sector than the public sector. I’m one of those people who think that Thomas Edison and the light bulb changed the world a lot more than Karl Marx ever did. And we have this incredible chance to do that in the next five years. I don’t want to sound arrogant but I know this thing is going to be the next great milestone in this industry. If it’s not, I’ll just go back to Tibet or something. Retire from this material life. Every bone in my body says it’s going to be great. And people are just going to realize that and buy it.”

“Why aren’t you doing anything with this? This is the greatest thing! This is revolutionary!”

“It goes back to the first brochure we ever did at Apple. It was white, with a picture of an apple. Fruit, an apple… that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. What we meant by that was when you start looking at a problem and it seems really simple, with simple solutions, you don’t really understand the complexity of the problem. Your solutions are way over-simplified. Then you get into the problem, and you see that it’s really complicated, and you come up with all these convoluted solutions. That’s sort of the middle, and that’s where most people stop, and the solutions tend to work for a while. But the really great person will keep on going and find the key, the underlying principle of the problem. And come up with an elegant, really beautiful solution that works. That’s what we wanted to do with Mac.”

“When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.”

“A lot of times people don’t do great things because great things really aren’t expected of them and because nobody really demands they try and nobody says, ‘Hey, that’s the culture here, to do great things.’ The environment we set up at Mac assumes that this special, hand-picked team is the best in the world at what they do – there is none better. And being a pirate means really going beyond what anyone thought possible – a small band of people doing some great work, really great work that will go down in history. Rather than joining an organization, where there’s a lot more process, many more layers, and more of a guarantee you’ll make something good, but almost a guarantee that it won’t be great. It means you can fail, but because you’re really great you’re willing to take on that risk.”

“Even if it took you three days to make it a single second faster, it would be worth it. If ten million people use the computer, in one year alone, that’s about 360 million turn-ons. How many lifetimes does 360 million seconds equal? Fifty? Would you take three days to save fifty people’s lives?”

“Remember, Lisa was the first time. I guess I encourage the Mac group to understand they’re the best in the world, so they tend to criticize other things, as I do, too, and that’s okay. But it’s also good to understand that most people [in the Mac team] have been able to stand on the Lisa people’s shoulders, maybe avoid some mistakes. The Lisa people wanted to do something great. And the Mac people want to do something insanely great. The difference shows.”

“If we don’t do it, IBM is going to take over. If having really great products, much better products than theirs, isn’t enough to compete with them, then they’ll have the whole thing. They’ll have the greatest monopoly of all time. It’ll be like owning every oil company and every car company in 1920. If we don’t do this, nobody can stop IBM. It’s kind of like watching a gladiator going into the arena. It’s really being perceived as Apple’s do-or-die.”

“I’m not doing this for the money. I have more money than I can ever, hopefully, even give away in my lifetime. And I’m certainly not doing it for my ego. I’m doing it because I love it. And I’m doing it because I love the people. And I’m doing it because I love the idea of making a great ten-billion-dollar company. If we fail, that will mean my entire worldview is all wrong. And my judgment about people is all wrong. If this is another failure, then I should question my work, I should go write poetry or something, go climb a mountain.”

“Every bone in my body says it’s going to be great. And that people are going to realize that and buy it. You see, this job isn’t done until we’ve sold several million of these things.”

“I could get $2,495 for every one I [make] for six to nine months. But I’d rather really make this the next revolution. So we’re forsaking some profits.”

“Something happens to companies when they get to be a few billion dollars. They sort of turn into vanilla companies. They add a lot of layers of management. They get really into process rather than result, rather than products. They lose touch with their customers. Their soul goes away. And that’s the biggest thing that John Sculley and myself will get measured on five years from now, six years… Were we able to grow to a ten-billion-dollar company that didn’t lose its soul?”

Accidental Millionaire by Lee Butcher (1988)

“I wasn’t a jock. I was a loner for the most part.”

“I didn’t want to grow up to be an engineer.”

“If they can’t stand up to me man to man, I don’t want them.”

“I don’t know why I can’t be a manager.”

“Woz just couldn’t say no. A lot of people took advantage of him.”

“[The Macintosh division] is the cream of Apple. This is the future of Apple.”

“Our parts costs will be much lower than that because we’re going to be buying parts by the millions.”

“We’re going to out-market IBM. We’ve got our shit together.”

“How do you run a company?”

“I hired someone I could learn from.”

“[John Sculley and I] would finish each other’s sentences.”

“[The Macintosh] is so good that you’ll want to buy one for your kids long after we’ve driven you out of business.”

“Apple has the chance to become the second largest computer company in the industry by the 1990s.”

“I’m not a discreet person.”

“That’s when I really started to think about stuff and get my wheels turning again.”

“We tried to assure them that we had absolutely no plans to use any trade secrets or technology. We can’t tell them what we want to do because we honestly don’t know. What we want to do is come up with some kind of successful parting with Apple so we can start our own company.”

“Joni Mitchell said it best: ‘Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone?’”

“I’m not bitter. I’m not bitter.”

“Apple exists in the spirit of the people who work there, and the sort of philosophies and purpose by which they go about their business. If I’m a million miles away and all those people still feel there are things, and they’re still working to make the next big personal computer, then I will feel my genes are still there. If Apple becomes a place where computers are a commodity item, and where the romance is gone, then I’ll feel that I’ve lost Apple.”

“I did it once in a garage. I did it again in the metaphorical garage at Apple, with the Macintosh. I’m confident that I can do it again.”

“If I just went and laid on the beaches for the rest of my life, which I couldn’t do anyway, it’s a pretty ridiculous message to people who are thinking about starting their own company, thinking about risking everything you have on an idea.”

Odyssey by John Sculley (1987)

“You’re like one of the founders of the company. Woz and I founded its past, but you and I are founding the future.”

“You’re wrong for Apple… I’m the only one who can save the company.”

“We’ve got some incredible ideas that will revolutionize the way people use computers. Apple is going to be the most important computer company in the world, far more important than IBM. What we want to do is to change the way people use computers in the world. I can’t talk about it, but we’re going to be doing something that is really going to blow everybody’s mind with a neat new product.”

“Everyone loves the new product. It is really incredible. I want to show this to you.”

“We’re going to blow IBM away. There’s nothing they can do when this computer comes out. This is so revolutionary, it’s incredible.”

“This has been one of the most exciting evenings in my whole life. I just can’t tell you how much fun I’ve had tonight.”

“What we’re doing has never been done before. We’re trying to build a totally different kind of company, and we need really great people. My dream is that every person in the world will have their own Apple computer. To do that, we’ve got to be a great marketing company. You really understand marketing. I got excited about the idea of an Apple generation after our dinner in New York. I really want us to get to know each other better because I just have a feeling that this could be very important for all of us.”

“That’s really high quality filming. That’s what we want. We want to have the very best advertising, the highest quality possible.”

“This product means more to me than anything I’ve ever done in my whole life. I love this product, and I want to share it with you. I want you to be the first person outside of Apple to see it.”

“I’ve assembled a team of the absolute best people I know in the world. There is no one who can do the things they do any better than they can.”

“I really think you’re the guy. I want you to come and work with me. I can learn so much from you.”

“Apple wants to stand for great design. Anything that Apple does, we want to be the best. It has to be the best.”

“Even if I have to pay for it out of my own pocket, I want you to come to Apple. We’ll have to solve those problems because you’re the best person I’ve ever met. I know you’re perfect for Apple, and Apple deserves the best.”

“Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?”

“You’re coming? That’s fantastic! That’s incredible! This is the best day of my whole life. I can’t wait to tell Markkula.”

“We’re doing something that’s never been done before. We have a chance to really make a difference in the world and that’s what makes people excited. We are a community that brings together the brightest minds in the world and the most creative people. Personal computers are changing the world, and we’re doing things that are going against all odds of success.”

“This isn’t Apple. We’re far more informal than this.”

“Apple deserves the best.”

“I’m sorry I don’t have much furniture. I just haven’t gotten around to it.”

“We all have a short period of time on this earth. We probably only have the opportunity to do a few things really great and do them really well. None of us has any idea how long we’re going to be here, nor do I, but my feeling is I’ve got to accomplish a lot of these things while I’m young.”

“Sorry to interrupt you, but I’ve just got to tell you what’s on my mind. You’re the only one who will understand.”

“Look at the Mercedes’ styling, the proportion of sharp detail to flowing lines. Over the years, they’ve made the lines softer but the details starker. That’s what we have to do with the Macintosh.”

“That’s really neat! Look everybody, come on over. Look what Andy’s done! It’s the greatest thing I’ve ever seen.”

“The Macintosh is inside of me, and I’ve got to get it out and turn it into a product.”

“It’s like when I walk in a room and I want to talk about a product that hasn’t been invented yet. I can see the product as if it’s sitting there right in the center of the table. It’s like what I’ve got to do is materialize it and bring it to life, harvest it just as Dr. Land said.”

“Hi! What are you doing?… Well, you’re doing it all wrong. Here’s what we want to do… Why can’t you do it right? It’s just not good enough. You know you can do better.”

“I don’t buy that. If you can’t do it, I’ll find someone else who can.”

“We should let the Soviets come over and put an atomic bomb of the highest capacity right in the center of Washington, D.C. And they’d be in control of that one. Then we would go and build one in Moscow and we would be control of that. We wouldn’t need missiles anymore because if one of us blew up their bomb, the other would blow up theirs. That would solve the whole problem.”

“I’m having the funnest time in my whole life. I am so happy that you decided to come to Apple. You’re the best person that Apple ever could have chosen.”

“Mac deserves it. This is the best product that I’ve ever seen in my whole life and it’s got to have the best introduction that any product has ever had.”

“[The 1984 commercial] is just awesome. It’s so radically different from what everyone else is doing.”

“This is the most important moment in my entire life. I can’t tell you how I feel. It’s the most incredible thing I’ve ever had to go through and I’m really nervous. You’re probably the only person who knows really how I feel about this.”

“It is now 1984. It appears IBM wants it all. Apple is perceived to be the only hope to offer IBM a run for its money. Dealers, initially welcoming IBM with open arms, now fear an IBM-dominated and controlled future. They are increasingly turning back to Apple as the only force that can ensure their future freedom.”

“It’s really happened – Mac is a real product now!”

“IBM has it all wrong. They don’t care about people. They sell personal computers as data-processing machines, not as tools for the mind.”

“Everyone here knows that I love Apple more than anything that I’ve ever been involved with my whole life. And the happiest two days for me were when Macintosh shipped and when John Sculley agreed to join Apple. This has been the greatest year I’ve ever had in my whole life because I’ve learned so much from John.”

“Yeah, let’s do it. Let’s bet the company again.”

“I promise to behave and do my best. I’ll behave.”

“You guys are doing it all wrong, just doing it completely wrong.”

“I really shouldn’t say this, but I’m going to say it. You guys don’t have any idea of what you’re doing.”

“I’m sorry, but I couldn’t help myself. I went to Xerox PARC and saw that they had all the great people and they were doing all the great things and they just didn’t see it. And they still don’t see it. I believe in great products, and they haven’t built great computer products with their technology. I just couldn’t control myself. I’m sorry.”

“Once they see the LaserWriter and what you can do with it, everybody’s going to want it. No one’s going to want to go back to anything else.”

“You’ve run a big corporation before. You could go back and run it, and I could run the Apple part, and we could really make this whole thing work.”

“I don’t understand it. Why isn’t it selling? Things just aren’t going right, and I can’t figure out why.”

“Don’t worry. Stay the course. We know what we’re doing. Trust me. This is the right way to go.”

“If you do that, you’re going to destroy this company! I’m the only one who understands enough around here about manufacturing and operations, and I don’t think you understand these things yet. You’re too far removed from the actual day-in-and-day-out operations, and if I’m not overseeing this, we’re not going to get any new products out and we’re not going to succeed!”

“I can’t believe this is happening. I can’t believe it happened. Why did John do this to me; I can’t believe he would do this. He betrayed me.”

“John, you’re terrific and I just want you to know that I love working with you and I really appreciate our friendship.”

“I know he was a good friend. I know that. And I think what I should do is definitely leave Apple.”

“I think I should get away and work on my friendship with John. John’s friendship is more important than anything else, and I think maybe that’s what I should do, concentrate on our friendship. That should be my priority.”

“I think you really lost your stride. You really were great the first year and everything went wonderful. But something happened. I can’t pin it down, but it was sometime during the end of 1984. I think I understand what has to happen at Apple, and I really am disappointed we’re not following my plans on more things.”

“Okay, hotshot. You were hired to run our company and look where it is. If I’m such a bad manager how come we’re shipping so many Macintoshes and getting profit from that? And if you’re such a good manager, how come we’ve got all this inventory of the Apple IIc out there?”

“I think you’re bad for Apple and I think you’re the wrong person to run this company. You really should leave this company. I’m more worried about Apple than I have ever been. I’m afraid of you. You don’t know how to operate and never have. John, you manage by monologue! You have no understanding of the product development process. You don’t know how manufacturing works. You’re not close to the company. The middle managers don’t respect you. In the first year, you helped build the company, but in the second, you hurt the company.”

“I wanted you here to help me grow, and you’ve been ineffective in helping me.”

“I think I could run the company. I think I understand the things that need to be done.”

“I don’t want to be a figurehead. I just don’t want to be a chairman that’s going off and working on long-range projects of thinking of new visions and things like that.”

“Isn’t there some way we could divide the things up and you can work on the marketing side of the business and I can work on the product side, and we could find a way to sort of run them like two separate operations?”

“All he did was blow a lousy few million and they took his company away from him.”

“Look, here are the things we can’t do today. We know what Mr. Lenin and Mr. Marx believed in. We know what their thoughts were because a lot has been written about them and it is reasonably well documented. But the one thing we can’t do is ask them a question and get their current thinking. Ahh, but in the future you’re going to have artificial intelligence and you’ll be able to ask Mr. Lenin a question or Mr. Trotsky a question.”

“I’ve been thinking a lot and it’s time for me to get on with my life. It’s obvious that I’ve got to do something. I’m thirty years old.”

“Don’t get upset. These are very low-level people that you won’t miss, and they will be leaving anyway. Don’t look at this as a big issue.”

The Little Kingdom by Michael Moritz (1984)

“This is the cream of Apple. We have the best people here and we must do something that most of us have never done: We have never shipped a product. We have zillions and zillions of details to work out. Six months ago nobody believed we could do it. Now they believe we can. We know they’re going to sell a bunch of Lisas but the future of Apple is Mac. It would be better to miss than to turn out the wrong thing. But we’re not going to miss. Five years from now you’ll look back on these times and say, ‘Those were the good old days.’ You know, this is the nicest place in Apple to work. It’s just like Apple was three years ago. If we keep this kind of pure and hire the right people, it’ll still be a great place to work.”

“This is my dream of what we’ll be making in the mid- to late eighties. We won’t reach this on Mac One or Mac Two but it will be Mac Three. This will be the culmination of all this Mac stuff.”

“We’re going to come down real hard on our vendors. We’re going to come down on ‘em like never before.”

“What does that mean in English?”

“Nobody any good sends in their warranty card.”

“What we should do is send Andy out to the universities, let him hang out in the labs and find the red-hot students.”

“We have a major opportunity to influence where Apple is going. As every day passes, the work fifty people are doing here is going to send a giant ripple through the universe. I am really impressed with the quality of our ripple. I know I might be a little hard to get on with, but this is the most fun thing I’ve done in my life. I’m having a blast.”

“The only way we’ll keep George is to give him all the analog electronics. Unless he feels responsible for all analog electronics he’ll go somewhere else. He’ll get a great job offer to run engineering in some start-up.”

“I see this stuff slipping and slipping out of pubs. They’re doing a great job but they’re not getting anything done. Get on top of it.”

“Can I suggest something? Your group doesn’t interact with marketing or engineering. They’re not back in the lab. They’ve got to get into the spirit of Mac. Introduce them to everyone. You’ve got to push ‘em into interaction.”

“I’d pick Rizzo. He’ll get into the trenches faster. Get clear in your mind who you want.”

“He’s a venture capitalist. Sounds like a bullshit job to me.”

“I’m willing to spend a million bucks to fix up Bandley Three. We’ll fix it up real nice and that’s it. That’s our final resting place. Put your energy into it. It’s going to be laid out for one hundred people. I don’t have any interest in running a division of more than a hundred and you’re not interested in working with more than a hundred. There will be no trailers, no outhouses, no nothing. If Bob wants a new software guy, someone else will have to go.”

“What about beer busts? Do you want any more like that? When’s our next party?… That’s in January because everybody’s so busy. What about early November? What about a rock ‘n’ roll party? We’ve just had a square dance. Rock ‘n’ roll. Square dance. That’s the universe. We’ll have a Halloween rock ‘n’ roll dance.”

“This is like a train starting up that takes a quarter of a mile to stop and we haven’t even got the track laid. We’ve got to really test the main logic board. We’ve got to test hot and cold. Details. Details. Details. There’s a lot more money in the digital board than the analog board. If we’re going to have a fuck-up let’s have it in the digital board.”

“We could pull numbers out of our ass and do anything. Any curve is total crap. If you believe it you’re being fooled.”

“We should do some test marketing. We should drop the price in L.A. and raise the price in Seattle and hope the dealers don’t talk to each other.”

“There were eighteen million marketing and finance people who didn’t know what the fuck they were doing. We’re always going to make judgments and a lot of it is unknowable. So we just ended up with a rule of thumb for the rate of return we want. Don’t drive us into the land of assholes with graphs. The last thing we want is people trying to out-Visicalc one another.”

“Let me put on another hat and play PCS manager. The only way I’m going to sell more Apple IIs is to merchandise the hell out of it. I don’t have a hot product. I don’t get free editorial. I don’t get the cover of Byte.”

“I hate doing reviews. I like salary increases.”

“Robert was the first person I met who was really very firmly convinced that the phenomenon of enlightenment existed. I was very impressed by that and very curious about it.”

“It placed value on experience versus intellectual understanding. I saw a lot of people contemplating things but it didn’t seem to lead too many places. I got very interested in people who had discovered something more significant than an intellectual, abstract understanding.”

“[Atari] was always chaos. It was not a well-run company.”

“Some of their engineers were not very good and I was better than most of them. The only reason I shone was that everyone else was so bad. I wasn’t really an engineer at all.”

“[Primal scream] seemed like such an interesting thing. You could gain some insight into your life and experience some new realm of feeling. This was not something to think about. This was something to actually go do: to close your eyes, hold your breath, jump in and come out the other end more insightful.”

“[Being adopted] made me feel a little bit more independent.”

“[Primal scream] offered a ready-made, button-down answer which turned out to be far too over-simplistic. It became obvious that it wasn’t going to yield any great insight.”

“[The farm] provided a real lesson in communal living. I spent one night sleeping under a table in the kitchen and in the middle of the night everybody came in and ripped off each other’s food from the fridge.”

“Robert walks a very fine line between being a charismatic leader and a con man… It started to get very materialistic. Everybody got the idea they were working very hard for Robert’s farm and one by one started to leave. I got pretty sick of it and left.”

“We ought to decide what we want and then start to cultivate something because I’ve got a feeling we’ll get what we want. What we need is a cover of Time or Newsweek. I can see the cover as a shot of the whole Mac team. We’ve got a better shot at Newsweek than Time. We had lunch with the president of Newsweek and a bunch of editors in some room at the top of the building and they stayed and talked for a couple of hours after lunch. It just went on and on. Technology. Reindustrialization. All that stuff. They’ll really go for that. ‘New computers from hi-tech kids’ and all that.”

“Once it starts to happen, it snowballs. I can see People magazine coming down and putting Andy Hertzfeld on the cover. We can create a mini-fame for each of these people. It’ll be a gas. We’ll have stories that say, ‘Here’s the guy that designed it,’ ‘Here’s the factory that built it.’ People will just keep hearing all about it. We’ve got to get a lot of free editorial.”

“Ooooh, that would be hot. Apple Computer does it again. I like that. That’s really hot.”

“We need ads that hit you in the face. They’ve got to have visually high bandwidth. We have an opportunity to do an ad that doesn’t talk about product. It’s like we’re so good we don’t have to show photographs of computers.”

“We don’t stand a chance advertising with features and benefits and with RAMs and with charts and comparisons. The only chance we have of communicating is with a feeling.”

“Yeah, we say, ‘It’s a cult,’ and then we say, ‘Hey, drink this Kool-Aid.’ We want to create an image people will never forget. We’ve got to build it and we’ve got to build it early.”

“I was getting a chance to do some things the way I thought they should be done. I felt I had nothing to lose by leaving Atari because I could always go back.”

“I didn’t want to be a businessman because all the businessmen I knew I didn’t want to be like. I thought that living in a monastery had to be different from being a businessman.”

“I had a sense that Apple would be consuming. It was a real hard decision not to go to Japan. Part of me was a little concerned because I was afraid if I went I wouldn’t come back.”

“The more I looked into Commodore the sleazier they were. I couldn’t find one person who had made a deal with them and was happy. Everyone felt they had been cheated.”

“I was always afraid that I’d get a call to say that Scotty had committed suicide.”

“Daniel generally tends to overrate his contributions. He just did a lot of work that we could have hired anybody to do and he learned an awful lot.”

“You run out of things to buy real quick.”

“When we first started Apple we really built the first computer because we wanted one… We had a passion to do this one simple thing which was get a bunch of computers to our friends so they could have as much fun with them as we were.”

“The race is on to improve the productivity of the knowledge worker. The personal computer can generate – at a crude level – free intellectual energy but the computer will dwarf the petrochemical revolution.”

“The company that will most affect how we do is not IBM. It’s Apple. If we do what we know how to do well, we’ll leave everyone else in the dust.”

“We don’t think of it as an empire. We hire people to tell us what to do.”

“You make a lot of decisions based on the fragrance or the odor of where you think things are going.”

“We’ve got each other by the balls.”

“The Japanese have come flopping up on our shores like dead fish.”

“We’re going to outmarket IBM. We’ve got our shit together.”