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Oh, too interesting. So because Steve holds the keys to the kingdom, incentives align in such a way that competition within Apple surrounds capturing his interest. Every system has an exploit – Apple's would then depend upon hacking Steve, or his circle, for maximum personal gain. Steve ends up being the filter for ambition that doesn't match Apple's long term agenda, while amplifying ambition that does. He's sitting at a loom, weaving all the stuff he likes into the long term vision and squashing everything else.

Thank you for posting and describing it this way – it's interesting and not how I originally thought of it, but of course it makes perfect sense.

The basic kernel of replicable process here seems to be:

  *Create a single point of accountability for product
  *Exercise restraint and focus
  *Have uncompromising taste
It doesn't necessarily scale well, but Apple's numbers suggest it doesn't really need to.

(aside: Putting it this way, Jobs reminds me of the Illusive Man.)




Saigon...Shit.

(Sorry, just realized that was way too cryptic. the Illusive Man was a character in Mass Effect 2 voiced by Martin Sheen. Martin Sheen, of course, played the main character, Willard, in the eminently quotable Apocalypse Now. One of the best lines in the film, in addition to the oft-quoted "I love the smell of napalm in the morning. It smells like...victory," as stated by Colonel Kilgore is Willard musing to himself: "Saigon...shit. I'm still only in Saigon."

Incidentally, Sheen was drunk during the filming of the opening scene, and really did cut his hand up. I highly recommend watching the making-of documentary Hearts of Darkness if you ever have the chance.)


Everyone gets everything he wants. I wanted a product, and for my sins, Steve gave me one. Brought it up to me like room service. It was a real choice product, and when it was over, I never wanted another.




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