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May 2013

My heroes, Dave Packard, for example, left all his money to his foundation; Bob Noyce (the late co-founder of Intel0 was another. I’m old enough to have been able to know these guys. I met Andy Grove when I was 21. I called him and told him I’d heard he was really good at operations and asked if I could take him out to lunch. I did that with others too. These guys were all company builders, and the gestalt of Silicon Valley at that time made a big impression on me. There are people around here who start companies just to make money, but the great companies, well, that’s not what they’re about.

Steve Jobs, 1998

Japan’s very interesting. Some people think it copies things. I don’t think that anymore. I think what they do is reinvent things. They will get something that’s already been invented and study it until they thoroughly understand it. In some cases, they understand it better than the original inventor. Out of that understanding, they will reinvent it in a more refined second-generation version. That strategy works only when what they’re working with isn’t changing very much, the stereo industry and the automobile industry are two examples. When the target is moving quickly, they find it very difficult, because that reinvention cycle takes a few years. As long as the definition of what a personal computer is keeps changing at the rate that it is, they will have a very hard time.

Steve Jobs, 1985

The organization is clean and simple to understand, and very accountable. Everything just got simpler. That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.

Steve Jobs, 1998

Mac stands for what we are as a company, taking technology that’s out of reach of the people and making it really great. That’s what we did with the Apple II, and that’s what we’re going to do again with Mac. Computers and society are out on a first date in this decade, and for some crazy reason, we’re in the right place at the right time to make that romance blossom.

Steve Jobs, 1984

(about Listen.com saying that downloading isn’t the most popular feature on their music service Rhapsody) Well, that’s correct. Downloading sucks on their service. You download a track and you can’t burn it to a CD without paying them more money, you can’t put it on your MP3 player, you can’t put it on multiple computers, it sucks! So of course nobody downloads! You pay extra to download even on top of subscription fees. No wonder they have hardly any download traffic, [they] hardly even have any subscribers.

Steve Jobs, 2003