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Comment on "Apple's Secret Ingredient"
by Michael Xavier Maelstrom — Sep 03
Personally, I think the most important thing in Apple and indeed in every company (or individual) is the ability to

1. recognize a good idea


2. turn an idea into a reality ASAP.

I 'ave quite a few ideas worth a billion dollars, and I can say that without bravado or self-consciousness
not because I'm brilliant (or an egomaniac - Ed) *cough* yes, thank you Ed, but because I may not be good for much, but one of the things (if the only thing -Ed) I'm very good at is: introspection.

Particularly instropection of my conscious and subconscious desires.

(which everyone ought be good at to some degree, since all it really requires is understanding yourself and trusting that means you understand human beings)

To give you an example, when I was BBSing (pre-Web telecommunicating/playing games/downloading pics and programs with a modem)

BEGIN ASIDE: those that tell you the military/university Internet was the forerunner to the Web are full of it, The Web was based 100% on the BBS scene's elements (Gaming, Downloading and Communicating by modem)

Anyway, back then while BBSing I thought "this is the future - I want to chat on here, play games on here, DL programs, and ..I want to listen to music and watch TV on here"

You could chat, dl programs and play games already on the BBS scene.

so I talked to a friends father who was an inventor and he shot down the TV idea saying it was impossible because a TV signal couldn't be carried by telephone lines.

Too high a signal load or something like that he told me.

I was a kid so I trusted he knew what he was talking about; reluctantly dropped it after arguing with him for a bit, and eventually moved on.

Though I never forgot it because it was frustrating, I *knew* I had a good idea, I just couldn't figure out how to move on it.

but Flash forward to today and of course using _compression_ and _encoding_ we can indeed transfer TV shows over modems. Even Dialup.

Which means it could have been done on the BBS scene LONG ago.

Not only that but it's now a huge industry on its way to becoming a multi-billion dollar biz. And I thought of it first. or at least I was the first in my neighborhood. But it means nothing because you don't know my name nor will you in conjunction with that idea.

Today I have about 5 multi-billion dollar ideas derived from introspection, but essentially the same problem, I don't have the people around me (programmers or engineers for example) who can take one of my ideas and turn it into a working alpha virtually immediately.

I know I could try to do one of my ideas myself, you're thinking, just spend some time researching engineering or programming - but the problem as anyone who is either creative or highly logical will tell you is that it's very difficult to be both a creative person, and also be a highly trained logical/organized person. The best you can do at being both creative and logical in a linear fashion is to organize your desk by tossing everything into clearly labelled bins.

(or sweeping it off into the drawers or under the carpet - Ed)

*cough* Yes, thank you Ed. Go Away Ed.

My point being, I think Jobs and co at Apple's 'secret' is really twofold.

1. he has a high degree of introspective capability and looks for people with the same. (and as you say spot on above imo, he trusts himself/his instinct/his introspective capabilities)


2. he has figured out that once you have introspected a good concept, what you really need is the people with the ability to turn it into reality ASAP.

Imo those are Apple/Job's 2 secret ingrediants.

***The symbiotic relationship between the creative team and the application-development team is spot on***

Here's the bit that will stun *some* people to 'ear said (aloud -Ed) I suspect:

Bill Gates' approach is almost identical to Steve Jobs'

but with an notable (and yet in terms of the bottom line) almost irrelevant exception:

MS have virtually no creative team, your witness: they almost exclusively unabashedly base their products on ideas from other people's products (IE from Mosaic/Netscape, Windows from Apple, et cetera)

BUT notice again, that creative bankruptcy doesn't correlate to Chapter 11 bankruptcy for Microsoft, why?

imo what Microsoft has that makes it a success is the same as Apple: the ability to

1. _recognize_ a good idea,


2. take that idea (whomever's idea) and turn it around into a product, ASAP.

That is the big secret trick of the big guys imo.

Setting your business up so that you can turn recognized-as-good ideas into products ASAP.

The trick in my observation is: the best companies respective head-honchos have figured out that optimally, you need to focus on having the creative and development departments working together as proficiently/symiotically as possible.

And that's my view.

Michael Maelstrom.
Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Earth, Sometimes.
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