The number of people I get to interact with in this company is probably about 50 on a regular basis. Maybe 100. And one of the things that I’ve always felt is that most things in life, if you get something twice as good as average you’re doing phenomenally well. Usually the best is about 30% better than average. Two to one’s a big delta. But what became really clear to me in my work life was that, for instance, [Steve] Wozniak was 25 to 50 times better than average. And I found that there were these incredibly great people at doing certain things, and you couldn’t replace one of these people with 50 average people. They could just do stuff that no number of average people could do. […]. And so I have spent my work life trying to find and recruit and retain and work with these kind of people. My #1 job here at Apple is to make sure that the top 100 people are A+ players. And everything else will take care of itself.
Apple is the most creative of the PC companies; Pixar is the most technologically advanced entertainment company. Apple releases new products every few months, and top execs make 10 major decisions a day. But the Holy Grail for Pixar is releasing one product, a movie-a-year, and as CEO I might make three really critical decisions a year, and they are very hard to change.
Steve Jobs, 2003
We’re still heavily into the box. We love the box. We have amazing computers today, and amazing hardware in the pipeline. I still spend a lot of my time working on new computers, and it will always be a primal thing for Apple. But the user experience is what we care about most, and we’re expanding that experience beyond the box by making better use of the Internet. The user experience now entails four things: the hardware, the operating system, the applications, and the Net. We want to do all four uniquely well for our customers.
Steve Jobs, 2000
Funny enough, 20 years after we started Apple, there was nobody building computers for people again. You know? They were trying to sell consumers last year’s corporate computers. We said, ‘Well, these are our roots. This is why we’re here. The world doesn’t need another Dell or Compaq. They need an Apple.’
Steve Jobs, 1999
This will be the most important thing I’ve ever done. (on the iPad before launch)
Steve Jobs, 2010
We’ve got 25,000 people at Apple. About 10,000 of them are in the stores. And my job is to work with sort of the top 100 people, that’s what I do. That doesn’t mean they’re all vice presidents. Some of them are just key individual contributors. So when a good idea comes, you know, part of my job is to move it around, just see what different people think, get people talking about it, argue with people about it, get ideas moving among that group of 100 people, get different people together to explore different aspects of it quietly, and, you know – just explore things.
Steve Jobs, 2008
Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.
Steve Jobs, 1998