“I love knowing what goes into everything—the economics, the technical aspect, and how to create the ideas in the show. It’s great. If you can have access to all of that, why the fuck would you not want to know? I just love learning. I think learning is how you live. The verb of my life is learning.”—
Louis is really full of wisdom. The interview is really a must read. I would have quoted the all article. This is going way further then the comedy business. You could find life lessons in his remarks.
Q: Building great products rather than aiming for a particular price point. Thoughts about that?
A: Our “North Star” is to maniacally focus on making the world’s best products. Economic turmoil may push us side-to-side but we will stay on that journey and focus on making the best products. We’ve seen it again and again throughout the years that during these types of periods is where we distance ourselves further from those that don’t innovate. It increases the gap between us. That’s what we focus on. When we can do that and hit more aggressive price points, I think you can see that with the $399 iPad a few months ago and the iPhone 3GS is free in the US and several other countries. There has been a lot knocked off that price. We will continue making the best products in the world. We aren’t changing that.
“The best people are the ones who really get the content. And they are a pain in the butt to manage. But you put up with it because they are so great at the content. And that’s what make great product, it’s not process, it’s content.”—
Steve Jobs, The Lost Interview.
Earlier, I reblog a quote from this interview with Steve Jobs, which I didn’t had the chance of seeing. Now, after having spend the last hour watching it, I can say it is the most incredible interview I’ve seen in years. It is very inspiring and probably one of the greatest, long and rare interview Steve Jobs gave in total honesty to a journalist. It is about 1 year before he sold NeXt to Apple. The little parts that were seen the Triumph of the Nerds were certainly just a little bite of the whole jewel. I strongly encourage you to watch it. It can be rented on iTunes USA for $3.99.
This particular quote stroke me very profoundly, because I always have been a pain in the ass to manage. No really! Big time ;) I always questioned authority and the process in place in all the companies and positions I’ve been (It is certainly not a mystery after 3 years being a freelancer, I find myself the happiest professionally). I also really get the content (at least the one in my field of work), most notably at giving form to ideas, structuring information and solving communication problems on the Web.
It is interesting to note that before saying this he said something like this:
People get confused, company get confused. When they start getting bigger, they want to replicate their initial success. And a lot of them think, well somehow, there is some magic in the process of how that success was created. So they start to try to institutionalize process in across the company. And before very long, people get very confused that the process is the content.
Later on, he talks how to create a great team, something you probably heard him say before: “A” players hire “A” players, because they only accept to work with each other equivalents, and nothing less. How a polished product comes to life from the union of those “A” players arguing with each others at finding the best solutions to the problems they encounter.
Looking back at the projects I’m the most proud in my career, I can certainly say they have been created and built with a bunch of other “A” players. Ones that I argued with more than I can remember, ones with creative thinking, who are solution driven (not ego driven), ones for who only the product count, who will do the impossible on a tight schedule to make the smallest detail possible.
They are great memories because the journey to get there was extraordinary as the result.
Andrew Kim as redesign the Microsoft brand in 3 days and it’s outstanding. I wish a company like this was existing on those pure principles.
On a side note, very happy that Andrew kept the Metro brand for the mobile OS part of the brand lineup. I think it is one of the greatest error of Microsoft of letting people talk about it for so long and then kill the work title in the egg at launch.
Very interesting to see the process and the little details in refining the input functionality of adding a new calendar in Basecamp.
Everything is about the copy and how you make understand the concept to others with the proper words without rising any questions from them. The “Don’t make me think” rule as a good practice is still the one that rules them all.
It always look obvious at the end, but it takes time and great minds to do it well.