Thursday, May 19, 2011

Review: Inside Steve’s Brain

What did I learned about “Inside Steve’s Brain”?

  • Keep a small team (less than 100 people), less they become unfocused and unmanageable.
  • No features creep, keep thing really simple (you know it’s perfect when there is nothing to take out anymore)
  • Design is function, not form.
  • Use repetitive prototyping (design, edit, refine) to select the best product. Avoid serial process (Waterfall vs. Agile).
  • Keep the players and fire the bozos.
  • Use carrot and stick: one day you are the hero, the next you are asshole (hero/asshole roller coaster).
  • Find a passion for your work.
  • Steal. Be shameless about stealing other people’s great idea.
  • Apple is the complete lifestyle experience: Hardware + Software + Service in a single package.

  • Focus on what’s important.
  • Focus on what you are good at, and delegate all else.
  • Sometimes you just have to start from scratch again, just like Max OS X.
  • Osborne effect: keep the new goodies secret until they are ready to ship, lest customers stop buying current stuff while waiting for the new stuff.
  • Don’t shit on your own doorstep: don’t bad mouth about your company and product in public.
  • Don’t listen to your customer for innovative new product, as they don’t know what they want. If Henry Ford as what his customers want, they would say a faster horse.
  • Design is for everyone, not just designer. Include the engineers, programmers and marketers.
  • Keep the best people around you. You can fire the projects or products, but not the bright people in it.
  • Don’t listen to “yes” men. Argument and debate foster creative thinking.
  • Let your partners the freedom to create and innovate.
  • It’s okay to be a passionate asshole.
  • Become a great intimidator. Inspire through fear and desire to please.
  • Insist on things that are seemingly impossible.
  • Celebrate accomplishments with unusual flair.
  • Don’t lose sight of the customer: The Cube failed because it was built for designers, not customers.
  • Concentrate on great products, not becoming the biggest or richest.
  • If you miss the boat, work hard to catch up.
  • Don’t be afraid of trial and error.

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