I’ve been boring the team here rigid with tales of Steve Jobs having finally got round to reading his biography over the summer. It’s a fascinating read which I would recommend to anyone especially those who still have it on their bookshelves since last Christmas, as I did, until last month.
When the iPhone 5 launched this week, I wasn’t surprised to be asked what I thought Steve Jobs would make of it.
In the book we’re told Steve’s father’s hobby was “doing up” old cars. He was fascinated with not just how the car worked but how it looked and would spend hours making sure all the parts on the inside were as immaculate as those on the outside.
Steve applied the same philosophy to product development at Apple. He would work his engineering teams day and night without a care for the cost until they found a solution to make the product work brilliantly and look beautiful. He wouldn’t hear that it couldn’t be done and through sheer force of will made them achieve superhuman feats of engineering.
Looking at the latest upgrade to the iPhone you wonder if some of that drive for perfection has got lost in the desire to make bigger and bigger profits. Yes it’s slimmer, lighter and faster than its predecessors but why is there a noticeable stripe across the device’s rear? Somehow you feel Steve would have sworn and shouted at them until they had achieved a flawless finish.