I think every advertising agency in the world would have loved to sit in a room with Steve Jobs as a client and spend a few minutes brainstorming with him. Based on Apple’s advertising campaigns over the years it’s clear that he knew how to get the best creative thinking from every agency he ever worked with.
Below are some of the best Steve Jobs quotes about creativity, focus and innovation from Michael Gass at Fuel Lines.
1. “The cure for Apple is not cost-cutting. The cure for Apple is to innovate its way out of its current predicament.” Apple Confidential: The Real Story of Apple Computer
2. “For something this complicated, it’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” Bloomberg Businessweek
3. “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.” Wired
4. “That’s been one of my mantras–focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” Bloomberg Businessweek
5. “Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.” CNNMoney
6. “When you first start off trying to solve a problem, the first solutions you come up with are very complex, and most people stop there. But if you keep going, and live with the problem and peel more layers of the onion off, you can often times arrive at some very elegant and simple solutions.” Newsweek
7. “We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them.” Fortune
8. “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me . . . Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful . . . that’s what matters to me.” The Wall Street Journal, May 25, 1993
9. “You’re missing it. This is not a one-man show. What’s reinvigorating this company is two things: One, there’s a lot of really talented people in this company who listened to the world tell them they were losers for a couple of years, and some of them were on the verge of starting to believe it themselves. But they’re not losers. What they didn’t have was a good set of coaches, a good plan. A good senior management team. But they have that now.” Bloomberg Businessweek
10. “The system is that there is no system. That doesn’t mean we don’t have process. Apple is a very disciplined company, and we have great processes. But that’s not what it’s about. Process makes you more efficient . . . But innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem. It’s ad hoc meetings of six people called by someone who thinks he has figured out the coolest new thing ever and who wants to know what other people think of his idea.” Bloomberg Businessweek