Business 2.0’s December issue features an article called
How to succeed in 2004, and they culled together observations from leaders in various industries to offer advice on everything from how to create loyal customers to motivating staff. Apple (and Pixar) CEO Steve Jobs was consulted on
how to create cool technology.
Jobs said that he and his team “would get bored” if it wasn’t for learning about new technologies and markets.
“Five or six years ago, we didn’t know anything about video editing, so we bought technology to learn how to do that,” said Jobs. The result is that Apple now includes iMovie with all new machines, and also makes available Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express for professionals and hobbyists, as well and DVD burning software, compositing tools and other technology.
“A few years later, we didn’t know anything about MP3 players, but our people looked at what was out there with a critical eye and combined that with what we already knew about design, user interface, materials, and digital electronics. That gave us the iPod,” he explained.
Jobs likens Apple’s innovation to the way that Pixar’s John Lasseter makes movies. “Before he made A Bug’s Life, he actually had people film what it really looks like to be in the grass from an insect’s perspective, and discovered that the blades of grass and leaves are actually translucent. You just gotta go learn this stuff. If you’re smart, you’ll figure it out,” he concluded.
Other executives queried for the feature include Dell CEO Michael Dell (on “how to attack a new business”); Krispy Kreme boss Scott Livengood (“how to create a ‘spontaneous’ media event”); Sybase chief John Chen (“how to turn a technology lemon into lemonade”) and many others.