The following Steve Jobs quotes are reprinted with permission from the new book I, Steve: Steve Jobs In His Own Words, edited by George Beahm, Agate B2.
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country... I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this... It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating. None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me.
-- Commencement address, Stanford University, June 12, 2005
Broad Life Experiences, Importance of
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. The broader one's understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.
-- Wired, February 1996
After Apple management complained about the six Apple employees SJ was taking with him to start NeXT: I wasn't aware that Apple owned me, you know. I don't think they do. I think that I own me. And for me not to be able to practice my craft ever again in my life seems odd. We're not going to take any technology, any proprietary ideas out of Apple. We're willing to put that in writing. It's the law, anyway. There is nothing, by the way, that says Apple can't compete with us if they think what we're doing is such a great idea. It's hard to think that a $2 billion company with 4,300+ people couldn't compete with six people in blue jeans.
-- Newsweek, September 30, 1985
Consumer Product Design
Re: the iPod--Look at the design of a lot of consumer products--they're really complicated surfaces. We tried to make something much more holistic and simple. When you first start off trying to solve a problem, the first solutions you come up with are very complex, and most people stop there. But if you keep going, and live with the problem and peel more layers of the onion off, you can oftentimes arrive at some very elegant and simple solutions. Most people just don't put in the time or energy to get there. We believe that customers are smart and want objects which are well thought through.
--Newsweek, October 14, 2006
Real artists ship.
-- Folklore.org, January 1984
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects