Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.Albert Einstein
I just turned up the short blog/article below on Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs has always been an inspiration for me even if I was a bit jealous at times of Apple. Apple never interested me as a work place because for one I didn’t feel I had the experience to stand out at Apple and even at 21 years old when I graduated in 1988, 4 years after when Macintosh came out, I felt Apple was already too big be for me to make a difference especially when they attracted the best and the brightest designers. I wasn’t a designer. I wasn’t a code geek either. I wasn’t even a computer scientist for that matter. I never knew what I was. But now I know – I’m a simplifier or at least that’s what I want to be. I want to make things easy to understand and I want make things that engage the user to understand. Thanks to Steve Jobs who crystallized this insight about simplification and to the years of inspiration.
Steve said, “If I asked someone who had only used a personal calculator what a Macintosh should be like, they couldn’t have told me. There was no way to do consumer research on it, so I had to go and create it, and then show it to people, and say now what do you think?”
A friend of mine was at meetings at Apple and Microsoft on the same day. … . He went into the Apple meeting (he’s a vendor for Apple), and as soon as the designers walked in the room, everyone stopped talking, because the designers are the most respected people in the organization. Everyone knows the designers speak for Steve because they have direct reporting to him. It is only at Apple where design reports directly to the CEO.
Later in the day he was at Microsoft. When he went into the Microsoft meeting, everybody was talking and then the meeting starts and no designers ever walk into the room. All the technical people are sitting there trying to add their ideas of what ought to be in the design. That’s a recipe for disaster.
He’s a minimalist and constantly reducing things to their simplest level. It’s not simplistic. It’s simplified. Steve is a systems designer. He simplifies complexity.
“If I’d asked my customers what they wanted, they’d have said a faster horse.’” – Henry Ford*