Monday, May 26, 2008

Inside the Inside Steve's Brain Book

I've started reading Inside Steve's Brain by Leander Kahney. I first picked it up based on this recommendation from Brand Autopsy. When I first picked the book up in the bookstore, I noticed that I've already seen a lot of the content posted in bunch of recent articles and extracts across the web -- you may have noticed a recent burst of articles or interviews on how Apple manages the design process and how Steve Jobs manages the business.
This is a great book. Not only is it an easy read, but it leaves you with a number of those "why can't I do that" or implement that or work in an environment that approaches things that way. It's that way of making something unique and intangible feel like it's within reach.
In keeping on the recent creativity theme, I thought I would pull these two excerpts from chapter 2 in the book.
Creativity in art and technology is about individual expression. Just as an artist couldn't produce a painting by a focus group, Jobs doesn't use them either. Jobs can't innovate by asking a focus group what they want--they don't know what they want.

Whitney said Sony would never have invented the Walkman if it had listened to its users. The company actually conducted a lot of research before releasing it. "All of the marketing data said that the Walkman was going to fail. It was unambiguous. No one would buy it. But [founder Akio] Marita pushed it through anyway. He knew. Jobs is the same. He has no need for user groups because he is a user experience expert."
Something to keep in mind as you try to balance creativity with the lowest common denominator.
Oh, and on that note, here's one more -- this one is from chapter 3, quoting a 1996 interview with Steve Jobs in Wired magazine:
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. (emphasis mine)
I recommend it!

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