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December 19, 2012, Issue #13

25 Best Innovative Quotes from Steve Jobs

  1. "Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower."
  2. "A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets.
  3. "The cure for Apple is not cost-cutting. The cure for Apple is to innovate its way out of its current predicament."
  4. "Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations."
  5. "Pretty much, Apple and Dell are the only ones in this industry making money. They make it by being Wal-Mart. We make it by innovation."
  6. "To turn really interesting ideas and fledgling technologies into a company that can continue to innovate for years, it requires a lot of disciplines.
  7. "You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new.
  8. "It's not about pop culture, and it's not about fooling people, and it's not about convincing people that they want something they don't. We figure out what we want. And I think we're pretty good at having the right discipline to think through whether a lot of other people are going to want it, too. That's what we get paid to do. We just want to make great products.
  9. "It's really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them."
  10. "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."
  11. "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."
  12. "I'm as proud of what we don't do as I am of what we do."
  13. "Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles."
  14. "We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas."
  15. "Real artists ship."
  16. "The system is that there is no system. That doesn't mean we don't have process. Apple is a very disciplined company, and we have great processes. But that's not what it's about. Process makes you more efficient. But innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we've been thinking about a problem. It's ad hoc meetings of six people called by someone who thinks he has figured out the coolest new thing ever and who wants to know what other people think of his idea. And it comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don't get on the wrong track or try to do too much. We're always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it's only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important."
  17. "Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they've had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people."
  18. "Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the ones who think differently. While some may see crazy, we see genius."
  19. "Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me ... Going to bed at night saying we've done something wonderful... that's what matters to me."
  20. "Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. Stay hungry. Stay foolish."
  21. "And it comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don't get on the wrong track or try to do too much. We're always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it's only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important."
  22. "What I'm best at doing is finding a group of talented people and making things with them. I respect the direction that Apple is going in. But for me personally, you know, I want to make things. And if there's no place for me to make things there, then I'll do what I did twice before"
  23. If I look at myself and ask, 'What am I best at and what do I enjoy most doing?' I think what I'm best at is creating sort of new innovative products.
  24. It probably is true that the people who have been able to come up with the innovations in many industries are maybe not the people that either are best skilled at, or, frankly, enjoy running a large enterprise where they lose contact with the day-to-day workings of that innovative process. Dr. Land at Polaroid, he's a perfect example.
  25. If anybody's going to make our products obsolete, I want it to be us.

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