You know, Dr. Edwin Land was a troublemaker. He dropped out of Harvard and founded Polaroid. Not only was he one of the great inventors of our time but, more important, he saw the intersection of art and science and business and built an organization to reflect that. Polaroid did that for some years, but eventually Dr. Land, one of those brilliant troublemakers, was asked to leave his own company - which is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard of.
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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 iMac is not just the color or translucence or the shape of the shell. The essence of the iMac is to be the finest possible consumer computer in which each element plays together.
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Believe things will work out. How was I ever to know that the girl who broke my heart in university would lead to my soulmate? How was I to know that the 'dream job' I was rejected from out of college would lead me to a year of entrepreneurship and adventure in Spain? How was I to know that taking a miserable job back in the states would be just the push I needed to vow to never do something I wasn't passionate about again? Everything works out. I mean everything. As long as you believe it will. When you do, you will find the silver lining. That will take you to the next level.
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I'm sure a lot of you had this experience when you're changing. You're growing as a person and people tend to treat you like you were 18 months ago, and it's really frustrating sometimes when you're growing up and you're more capable. It's the same thing with a company and the press. The press is going to have a lag time. The best thing we can do about the press is embrace them and do the best thing we can to educate them about our strategy. But to keep our eye on the prize, that is turning out some great products. the press and the stock prize will take care of themselves.
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We don't get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die, you know? So this is what we've chosen to do with our life. We could be sitting in a monastery somewhere in Japan. We could be out sailing. Some of the team could be playing golf. They could be running other companies. And we've all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it. And we think it is.
I've read something that Bill Gates said about six months ago. He said, 'I worked really, really hard in my 20s.' And I know what he means, because I worked really, really hard in my 20s too. Literally, you know, 7 days a week, a lot of hours every day. And it actually is a wonderful thing to do, because you can get a lot done. But you can't do it forever, and you don't want to do it forever, and you have to come up with ways of figuring out what the most important things are and working with other people even more.
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You know we're constantly taking. We don't make most of the food we eat, we don't grow it, anyway. We wear clothes other people make, we speak a language other people developed, we use a mathematics other people evolved and spent their lives building. I mean we're constantly taking things. It's a wonderful ecstatic feeling to create something and put it into the pool of human experience and knowledge.
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That's why I think death is the most wonderful invention of life. It purges the system of these old models that are obsolete. I think that's one of Apple's challenges, really. When two young people walk in with the next thing, are we going to embrace it and say this is fantastic? Are you going to be willing to drop our models, or are we going to explain it away? I think we'll do better, because we're completely aware of it and we make it a priority.
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No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.
I'm convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.... 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.
The difference between the best worker on computer hardware and the average may be 2 to 1, if you're lucky. With automobiles, maybe 2 to 1. But in software, it's at least 25 to 1. The difference between the average programmer and a great one is at least that. The secret of my success is that we have gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world. And when you're in a field where the dynamic range is 25 to 1, boy, does it pay off.
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