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> Jobs produced "copies" of things that transcended the things he copied

Er, that's precisely what Gladwell is arguing.




Gladwell basically calls Jobs a tweaker. He didn't tweak products, he reinvented them. In fact, Jobs didn't have the skills to be a tweaker (the guys Gladwell compares Jobs to were essentially hardcore engineers).

Here's a simple example (from Isaacson's book):

When Jobs was working on the Apple II he wanted to build the power supply into the box but didn't want a fan, so he hired a guy to design a new kind of power supply that would meet his requirements. This guy _invented the switching power supply_ to meet those requirements.

This kind of thing occurs over and over in Jobs's story. (E.g. the mouse at Xerox -- which you'll recall Jobs "stole" from Xerox, but in fact was invented by Douglas Englebart -- had three buttons, cost a fortune, broke down frequently, and didn't scroll diagonally. The mouse on my mother's 128k Mac eventually failed after five years when its plastic feet were down flat.)




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