Perfection, or rather the pursuit of perfection. It’s a quality that only the rarest individual can achieve.
In my opinion, Steve Jobs came very close with many of his products, even though in the fast-pace world of technology they become dated just a few years later. To achieve this he would often talk about the need to start over. To go back to the beginning even when you’re halfway done, against a deadline, and going to upset a lot of people.
The more I listen to him explain this concept the more I understand it. In the early stages of development a lot is learned and mistakes are made. This process often influences the development of the product and even makes it into the final release.
To start over, to take that new knowledge back to the beginning often results in a far superior product. Yet, for some reason, all of us are afraid to scrap our rough drafts and spend the time to start over.
If we can meld this with our own desire to achieve perfection, or even greatness, then perhaps we can achieve what Steve was able to achieve.
Steve Jobs on Design
Some transcribed quotes from the video:
Steve: “Design is a really loaded word…I don’t even know what it means. So we don’t talk about design a lot around here, we actually just talk about how things work. Most people think it’s how they look but it’s not really how they look it’s how they work.”
Johnny Ive: “When we were developing the iMac we were at a point where we had a couple of solutions, and we thought they were good. But, then we had that sinking feeling, you know when you start to convince yourself that something is better than you really know that it is.”
Steve: “Sometimes you just have to look at it yourself and say, you know it’s just not really great, it’s ok, it’s good, but lets not fool ourselves and call it great.”
Steve: “We are willing to throw something away because it’s not great and try again, when all of the pressure of commerce and business are at your back saying no you can’t do that.”