wasting bandwidth since 1999

Tag: steve jobs

Design is More Than Good Looks

Steve Jobs on design:

Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it’s this veneer – that the designers are handed this box and told, ‘Make it look good!’ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

When it comes to most products, it’s always been true that functionality is more important than appearance. But there are still plenty of people who believe the outward style of Apple’s devices is the primary reason why they have a loyal customer base, one that’s steadily growing.

If rumors are correct, at tomorrow’s keynote for their annual developer’s conference, Apple execs will present new models in the MacBook Pro line. Soon after, I’ll be replacing my nearly five year old MacBook Pro with one of them.

No computer is going to be perfect, and the Mac OS has it’s quirks. However, more than any other company I can think of, I’m very sure their engineers will have sweated the details on both hardware and software to assure that the device is far more than just good looks.

Now if they can just do something about updating Aperture. :-)

The Legacy of Steve Jobs

This is exactly it.

One of the best things about Steve Jobs’ return to Apple – which will live on and benefit society long after Jobs’ death – is how he basically spent the last 14 years teaching thousands of Apple employees to have incredibly high standards and to build amazing products.

Perhaps more importantly, through Apple’s products, Steve also taught hundreds of millions of consumers to expect and demand amazing things.

For now, many of those Apple colleagues – especially the ones who worked most closely with Steve – still work there. But over time, more will leave to start their own companies or launch new projects. And some of those companies will make some really cool things completely outside the consumer electronics industry, reflecting both the work of their founders and also a little bit of Steve Jobs.

When do we apply Jobs kind of thinking, which has nothing remotely to do with scores on standardized tests, to public education? When do millions of consumers (aka students) begin demanding amazing things?

Soon, I hope.

And, by the way, that thermostat is very cool!

Here’s to the Crazy One Who Changed the World

Much has been written about the legacy of Steve Jobs over the past couple of days and I don’t know that I have anything original to add.

However, when I think about the incredible innovations he brought to the world and the major impact his work has had on my life, this Apple ad from the late 90’s always comes to mind.

This is the rarely heard version narrated by Jobs himself (instead of Richard Dreyfuss), and now ending with a simple tribute at the end.

Thanks, Steve.

One More Thing…

Following up on the previous post about leadership, during the interview with Steve Jobs he discussed Apple’s approach to business.

And he made this observation about the difference between producing computing devices for consumers, in which Apple has been very successful over the past decade, and the business market.

What I love about the consumer market that I always hated about the enterprise market is that we come up with a product, we try to tell everybody about it, and every person decides for themselves.  They vote yes or no.  And if enough of them say yes, we get to come to work tomorrow.  That’s how it works.  It’s really simple.

As for the enterprise market, it’s not so simple.  The people who use the products don’t decide for themselves.  And the people who make those decisions sometimes are confused.

Confused indeed!

Here in the overly-large school district, we are regularly reminded that we are not really a school system.

We work for an “enterprise” (and that we are all “clients”).

And that last part of Jobs’ remarks may offer a clue as to why the use of instructional technology is not what it should be here in the overly-large enterprise.

Picture from Wikipedia and I’m only guessing that it’s legal to link to it and not get sued by Paramount. :-)

What Do You Do All Day?

This is going to be one of those I-think-there’s-a-connection-here sort of posts that will wander around until either stumbling across that link, or ending abruptly.

Anyway, last night I sat in on an online discussion around the topic of leadership, specifically in schools and school districts, let by Will and Shelly, and one of the fundamental questions we tossed around was “does a good leader need to also be a visionary?”.

I put forward the idea (and was probably in the minority in supporting it) that good leaders don’t necessarily need to be big visionaries as long as they surround themselves with creative, imaginative people and are open to the change that comes with new ideas.

This morning on my longer-than-usual drive I was thinking about that conversation as I listened to an interview with Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple and, no matter how you feel about the company’s products, someone most would credit with being a “visionary” leader in the world of personal digital products.

During the program, one of the reporters asked him a simple but very relevant question: What do you do all day?

She was, of course, trying to get Jobs to talk about his role in the development of products at the company but maybe that’s a question we should also be asking our school leaders.

What do you do all day to produce “insanely great” products (in Steve’s frequently quoted phrasing), which in our case are well-educated students, prepared to be successful after graduation?

Jobs’ response to the question was very business-oriented, as you might expect.

But the nutshell version basically boils down to Apple employs many creative and talented people and his primary role is to clear the obstacles, foster collaboration, and allow them to use their talents to the greatest degree possible.

I would hope our leaders, both inside and outside of the education structure, would view their role exactly the same way when it comes to improving student learning.

Unfortunately, these days things seem to be heading in the opposite direction.

To more standardized classrooms, rigid, narrow curriculums, and prescriptive teaching designed to meet the growing demand for more standardized testing.

So, I wonder how things might change if Steve Jobs was leading American education.

Instead of Bill Gates.

© 2023 Assorted Stuff

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑