Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 15th Oct 2010 20:54 UTC
Apple Is it an indication of Steve Jobs' (in)famous strive for perfection, or just stupid bone-headedness? The white variant of the iPhone 4 was first delayed for a few weeks, but those few weeks became 'end of the year'. Now we know why: the manufacturers Apple employs are apparently having issues matching the shades of white of the various components. This anecdote ties in nicely with a very interesting interview with John Sculley about Steve Jobs' ways of doing business.
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RE: Akio Morita
by thavith_osn on Fri 15th Oct 2010 23:23 UTC in reply to "Akio Morita"
thavith_osn
Member since:
2005-07-11

I am a software engineer, and there have been many times we say we can only do something a certain way, but many times that is due to not wanting to redesign something in a different or better way, if it works, why change it. Being lazy is a big decision maker in our industry, just look at all the horrible software out there.

I am sure hardware is similar (though I have no experience in that area). If something is made a certain way and has always been made a certain way, then why redesign?

If you haven't done so yet, check out the book iWoz, Woz explains how he would look at computer designs back in his youth and redesign them using way fewer parts. His design of the 5.25" floppy drive is a brilliant example of that. I guess the time the two Steves spent together rubbed off on Jobs.

I think Jobs pushes his staff because more times than not because the people who say it can't be done just don't know that it actually can.

I have a lot of respect and admiration for Jobs, but I wouldn't want to personally spend too much time with the guy, I think Woz would be way more interesting to hang out with.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Akio Morita
by Radio on Fri 15th Oct 2010 23:42 in reply to "RE: Akio Morita"
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

I am a software engineer, and there have been many times we say we can only do something a certain way, but many times that is due to not wanting to redesign something in a different or better way, if it works, why change it. Being lazy is a big decision maker in our industry, just look at all the horrible software out there.

I am sure hardware is similar (though I have no experience in that area). If something is made a certain way and has always been made a certain way, then why redesign?

I don't know if I can speak for all engineers out there, but we love doing new, cutting-edge stuff. From my point of view, coding is boring and difficult (debugging takes a while, improving often leads to complete rewrites, golden ideas turn impredictably to mud when actually implemented) so I understand the "lazyness"; but for hardware... Which sane engineer would have resisted the idea of making a multi-touch gizmo like the iPhone? For all the engineers I know, the only thing restraining their creativity is financial means, not lazyness (or more accurately, the idea that "this is good enough, let'sz leave it like that").

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Akio Morita
by thavith_osn on Sat 16th Oct 2010 00:15 in reply to "RE[2]: Akio Morita"
thavith_osn Member since:
2005-07-11

Actually, very good points. I love working on new and cutting edge stuff all the time, I was even writing file system drivers at one point (which was a lot of fun for the first few weeks). I feel alive when doing new stuff that hasn't been done, or at least, I haven't seen it :-) I love finding new ways to design things. A good example was working with completion ports to create a very efficient server. I had always approached servers in a very different manner.

What I was trying to say was, once you get your design done and it works and you are ready for a new project, having a boss like Jobs say that the design needs to be 10% faster or able to do x other things would be disheartening, esp. when you have been working 23 hours days to get it done and you think you have pushed it too it's limits. Maybe it's just me. I love finishing up a project and moving onto the next one.

I remember reading back when the Mac was first being created, the boot time was n seconds (I think close to a minute). Jobs wanted it to be 30 seconds or less. The team told him that was not going to happen, but he told them that's what he wanted. They had to go back to the drawing board. They got the boot time to around 30 seconds by the way. I think if I was on that project, I would have been happy with one minute :-) I think most of the companies out there would have been happy with 1 minute. That is one of the differences.

Reply Parent Score: 2