The timing of the project launch is pretty remarkable. It seems that Jobs wanted to do this for some time, but was waiting and watching for technical feasibility. From the effort they had getting the demo to work, it seems that they launched the project something like immediately after the progress of the component technologies brought that feasibility into view. And even then they had to manage risks, and then they had to get the thing into production.
And while that suggests some pretty deep technical savvy at executive levels, they still had heartburn over seemingly simple questions like "can you put radio waves through aluminum?"
It seems to me that the genius of Jobs was 1) to envision customer experiences based on really remarkable extensions / integrations of existing tech and 2) to judge the moment when those visions had gone from "someday" to "now".