September 29, 2012

Talking Technology! ("Ouch!" edition)

When O'Reilly Radar posted my essay on Steve Jobs' affinity for Romanticism earlier this week, a commenter posted a link to a 2001 video interview with Jobs. 

The commenter was pointing out that some of what Jobs says in the interview speaks directly to the issues addressed in my essay (see 7:16 forward), and he was right.

It's interesting to note, in addition, that some of Jobs' other comments take on a certain resonance in the context of Apple's recent troubles with the Maps application for the iPhone 5 and iOS 6.

The interviewer asks (at 4:15) how Jobs motivates the employees of Apple to "think different." What do you do, she wants to know, to make sure that attitude "permeates" the company? Jobs answers:

You permeate it by example, ultimately. In other words, when something's not quite good enough, do you stop and make it better, or do you just ship it? And everybody watches to see how the senior management makes those decisions. And what we've tried to do is stop and make it great before we ship it. When we have problems, stop and fix them.…You can say anything you want but everybody watches very carefully when you're in a difficult situation, what decisions you make, what values you have.

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