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Surprising Science

What Steve Jobs Taught Us About Innovation

Steve Jobs and Apple’s ascendancy to the throne of world technology companies was not without its pitfalls. So what did the world’s foremost tech guru learn along the way? 

What’s the Latest Development?

Two of the most important lessons Jobs seems to have learned throughout his career are to never give up on the details and to have patience with one’s goals. One Silicon Valley journalist recalls Jobs ringing him on the phone to discuss the quarterly earnings of Pixar, the computer animation company Jobs created and later sold to Disney for billions. In the lull that followed Pixar’s Toy Story success, the maestro got on the phone to sell his company’s achievements, fighting hard to get as much space as possible in the next day’s newspaper.

What’s the Big Idea?

After losing a battle with Apple’s board of directors in 1984, Jobs left the company, returning in 1997 to save it from bankruptcy. In the meantime, he became a more effective leader by listening and trusting the people he worked with. These skills would enable him to deliver Apple’s complex line of iPhones and iPads which are “business ecosystems with tremendous complexity—partners, products, stores, must all be managed and work coherently, so the customer derives a unified experience.” The iPad’s release was long delayed until everything was just right. 


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