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Seems it's a career-long motto of his. Here's my little story from when he told that to a room of record labels in 2003: http://www.oreillynet.com/onlamp/blog/2004/08/say_no_by_defa...

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In June of 2003, Steve Jobs gave a small private presentation about the iTunes Music Store to some independent record label people.

My favorite line of the day was when people kept raising their hand saying, "Does it do ___(x)___?", "Do you plan to add ___(y)___?".

Finally Jobs said, "Wait wait - put your hands down. Listen: I know you have a thousand ideas for all the cool features iTunes could have. So do we. But we don’t want a thousand features. That would be ugly.

Innovation is not about saying yes to everything. It’s about saying NO to all but the most crucial features."




Funny that you mention iTunes, it's presumably completely off Steve's radar now. Just try right clicking on a song, see how clunky it is.


I guess you could say making iTunes less clunky was presumably one of the 1000 ideas he said no to so he could focus on the iPhone/iPad.


Indeed. I hate iTunes with a passion. It's maybe the worst product Apple has out. Usually they're at least great with interface design but somehow iTunes manages to make everything feel 3 times clunkier than it has to.


I would say that the true, Jobsian iTunes can now be experienced on an iPad or iPhone, not on Mac or Windows.




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