Craftsmanship

mantrax5 2 hours ago | link

“You know, one of the things that really hurt Apple was after I left John Sculley got a very serious disease. It’s the disease of thinking that a really great idea is 90% of the work. And if you just tell all these other people “here’s this great idea,” then of course they can go off and make it happen.

And the problem with that is that there’s just a tremendous amount of craftsmanship in between a great idea and a great product. And as you evolve that great idea, it changes and grows. It never comes out like it starts because you learn a lot more as you get into the subtleties of it. And you also find there are tremendous tradeoffs that you have to make. There are just certain things you can’t make electrons do. There are certain things you can’t make plastic do. Or glass do. Or factories do. Or robots do.

Designing a product is keeping five thousand things in your brain and fitting them all together in new and different ways to get what you want. And every day you discover something new that is a new problem or a new opportunity to fit these things together a little differently.

And it’s that process that is the magic.”

~ Steve Jobs

This is why Apple doesn’t make “vision” videos now, and it didn’t during the Jobs years. During the period they did, they had serious problems in shipping any of the visions they have shown the world.

Microsoft is a bit like that. They know where the world is going, and Bill Gates himself knew from the very start where the world is going (short of a brief period where he conveniently ignored the Internet will happen). But they thought the fact they knew, that they had this cool idea and projection of how things will happen was giving them enough advantage. Nope.

It’s risk-free to ship vision videos. They’re like free T-shirts. There’s infinite demand. But when it comes to shipping products based on them, most people can’t live with the compromises and risk-taking a real product requires in order to ship.

With a new product you can’t just look at the competition and confirm that what you have will work. You’re on your own. Do you have the guts?

— Hacker News

2014.06.24 Tuesday ACHK