Steve Jobs on living your life

On YouTube you can find a speech by Steve Jobs, which he gave in Stanford in 2005. It’s 15 minutes long and about 9 minutes after the beginning there are some great words which I quote below.

Of course, elsewhere he also quoted Picasso and said that good artists borrow, great artists steal - and here he is suing any competition that even vaguely hints at the consideration of encroaching on an Apple patent. :slight_smile:

This is a quote, but I don’t remember who said it.

That’s a great quote!

Here’s the Steve Jobs clip I mentioned:

(I’m pretty sure I saw this by way of David Hewson’s blog.)

On an infinitely tinier scale, I understand how it feels to have ideas “borrowed” without credit or credit for your ideas to be given elsewhere, and it does make you want to scream and stamp your foot and do something; but ultimately I think his attitude in this video is much healthier. There’s nothing wrong with building on the ideas of others so long as you are doing something new with them rather than just taking them in the hopes of making a buck (for instance, everyone knows that the look of Scriv’s outliner was inspired by OmniOutliner, and the notes, label and status fields in the editor were originally done in Ulysses - both superb programs, but I wanted to do something very different to either). It’s a shame that now Apple are the “big guy” they have lost some of this attitude…

All the best,

Well, the biggest irony is that the Macintosh was introduced with one of the most famous commercials in the history of advertising:

The 1984 Big Brother ad pitted the free-thinkers against Big Brother (i.e. IBM). Now Apple is the epitome of Big Brother.


And a few years later they sued Microsoft for copying the look and feel of their operating system. Marketing aside, I don’t think there is much of a case that anything has changed or drifted. Even the marketing techniques of exploiting individuality are the same. Think Different; be cool, not square (PC). The 1984 ad wasn’t marketing genius because it opened a transparent window in the heart of Apple, it was marketing genius because it made you feel it did.

If you go back far enough you’ll find a shift in Apple’s character, but you’ll find it in the Apple ][, not the Macintosh. The Apple ][ product represented a different culture and a different company philosophy—and it was a discrete unit from the Macintosh group. Once the Mac came out, Apple moved on and the product and its ethos disappeared, including the entire department.

And Xerox gave it all away. The core of all modern enduser compute systems are

  1. Windowed environment: X - windows is the base of all of them. Guess what X stands for…
  2. The mouse: PARC developed it. Palo Alto Research Center. Owned and operated by the big red X.
  3. Low power laser: PARC again.

Imagine the value of X stock if we took the same position. Imagine the cost of anything once we got our share of the licensing!

Yes indeed! Here is an interesting time-based influence chart showing the progression of the early GUI research and implementation:

Note the Lisa and its influence lines, and you can see where the original Mac came from. Also note Xerox Star 8010—looking just like a star, as the central hub for much of everything that happened in that era of original GUI design.

It seems that Apple has something against Flash. Why, I thought Flash was a superb when it was introduced, so why prohibit it. In the article

it says that Mike Chambers, the principal product manager for developer relations for the Flash platform at Adobe, noted that the recent update to the iPhone developer program license essentially bars from the App Store software that uses the company’s Flash CS5 tool. He says that

Hey Steve, when you look yourself in the mirror each morning, and ask yourself "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today? do you answer that you should try to kill Flash? Why? :imp:

On I read that Steve said in a meeting:

Is this true? Is Flash buggy? I thought it was a mature technique? Is Adobe lazy? They have made great products in the past, but anything changes :confused:

As a response to Adobe’s accusation that Iphone and Ipad are closed systems Apple responded.

Even if it is true what Apple says they should not activelly prohibit a well working and much used technology. If it is old and closed let better techniques drive out bad technology by themesleves. I suspect that there is more behind the scenes.

It is interesting and sad that Adobe and Apple are at odds. I suspect Apple might not have survived to be the company it is today without Adobe’s graphic design products (and the now – I think – defunct PageMaker). My perception is that for a long time the only serious and dedicated users of the Mac were graphic designers many of whom used Adobe software.


There was a time when Apple were heading down the pan that Adobe execs were telling all and sundry that the Mac was finished and Windows was what mattered. As a result, the Mac versions of Adobe products languished compared to the Windows versions. Even when Apple got going again Adobe were reluctant to rewrite their products in Cocoa.

If Jobs allowed Flash on the iPad/iPhone it would mean every time Apple wanted to add features or upgrade the OS, they would need to make sure the Adobe libraries and runtimes were OK, quite probably delaying, or even cancelling new features if/when Adobe refused to play ball.

In effect they would be handing control of the platform to Adobe. Pretty soon the iPad/iPhone would be just another lowest common denominator phone with few if any differentiating features.

No sensible company is going to place its future in the hands of another.


You all forget the one device that changed it all. Was the birth of Woz Genius (Revolutionary Breakout Code for the game BREAKOUT). That captured the hearts of millions and led to an industry that last year made more Money than the movie Industry.

I give you the root.

And lie to me and tell me you never played Pitfall like your life depended on it.

I’ve never even heard of it, let alone played it, or even seen one of those wood-effect boxes in your image …
… and no, I’m not lying. It’s the plain unvarnished truth.


I agree with Tacitus. Adobe and Microsoft have the common interest of maintaining product ubiquity - their entire business strategies depend on it. When a company with the sort of clout Apple wields turns its back on one of your flagship products, it’s bye bye ubiquity and, sooner or later, revenue too. Flash may still be the de facto standard, but is it really the best solution? These days, probably not. Whether you agree with Jobs or not, you’d be foolish to ignore the implications of his decision. Flash, and Adobe, are now under the microscope as never before.

Just my two-penneth.
(I’d love to say two cents, but being a Brit disqualifies me) :confused:


Adobe solutions is the iPhone Packager found in Adobe CS5 which seems rather cumbersome to me and does not address the issue of using flash directly on a website.