A list of my favorite links from the weeklong dirge for Steven P. Jobs.
Bill Gates and Steve Jobs’ joint interview at the All Things Digital conference. Fascinating dynamics, and good history lessons from two landmark figures in personal computing. (2007). An excerpt here, full video on official site:
Steve Jobs narrates Apple’s “The Crazy Ones” commercial, though a version narrated by Richard Dreyfuss was the one that aired. (1997)
Going In-House at Apple with Steve Jobs’ Former GC (2011)- retrospective from the point of view of Apple’s general counsel. Of course I’m going to have a lawyer/IP angle on here.
“He had the ability to shut things out of his mind and just focus very narrowly on one specific issue. I often said that his greatest strength was his ability to say no. Because you can imagine that over the years, so many people came at him with ideas about one product or another,” Cooperman says. “He focused very, very sharply on making excellent products that people would love, and not doing lots of other things that would distract from that mission.”
An extended conversation with Woz – by Dan Lyons (2011):
What was Steve’s biggest strength?
Everyone else will say vision, and gosh darn that’s important but that doesn’t go anywhere without operational discipline. Steve once told me that Apple only lost money when they built junk. It was his focus on good products that I believe was the biggest thing. All we have to do is make great products. If you have a big market. Apple had millions of fans, such a huge user base. Another strength was that he came back and put together a new board of directors. He organized the company to have good tight controls. Watching everything he could — that is operational excellence. Lots of CEOs just look at little points of data and make a decision. Steve was so much more than that. It’s rare.
Steve Jobs Presents to Cupertino City Council (June 17, 2011). In one of his last public appearances, Jobs presents plans to Apple’s new campus to the city council. I’m shocked at how old and tired he looks. (via Kottke)
And, finally, by far, my favorite thing I have watched all week, Steve Jobs’ closing keynote at the 1997 WWDC. Context: Steve Jobs had just returned via Apple’s acquisition of NeXT Computer and he conducts an hourlong Q&A session with Apple developers. They pick his brain and through his answers, you can see every bit of Apple circa 2011 coming out of Jobs’ mouth in 1997. Honest, elegant, well-considered answers from off-the-cuff questions. Focusing is about saying no. We have a unique opportunity because we control the whole stack. Being overly proprietary is not necessary.