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Leading Apple With Steve Jobs: Management Lessons From a Controversial Genius by Jay Elliot

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Chapter 13

“And One More Thing”

Looking into the Distance

We don’t know where it will lead. We just know there’s something much bigger than any of us here.

—Steve Jobs

Once while Steve and I were traveling from New York to Washington, D.C., during a relaxed moment we fell into a discussion of what might become the next bold user interface. I said I was sure it would be voice recognition. Steve thought that was too bold, too far away for the current state of technology. It had to be a handheld device (this was before PDAs had become popular), though he wasn’t sure people would adapt to a small screen.

He was wrong about the reluctance to accept a small screen, of course, but his concept about handheld devices has driven Apple for 30 years.

Your ideas need to be bold. Never fear to set a concept as grand as “We are going to change the world with _______.” Yet at the same time, the statement of that concept needs to be simple. An example is the digital hub—which Steve first began talking about in 1985. He was already starting to envision all of a user’s electronic information being available to all of her digital devices, with the Macintosh as the key device at the center of this hub.

Think about Christopher Columbus setting off from Spain to sail across the Atlantic. He was pursuing a personal conviction that there was land on the other side of the vast, unknown ocean and that he could reach it. When my ancestors crossed the United States in covered wagons, their goal was to bring ...

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