What make Steve Jobs different?
When Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO of Apple I started watching his old keynote speeches to see what made him tick. One of my favorites is from the '98 iMac announcement (The First iMac Introduction
). If you're watching for the first time, you'll be charmed by just how enthusiastic Jobs is as he presents the new iMac, his first major consumer product following his return to Apple. "The back of this thing looks better than the front of the other guys" Jobs declares. "It looks like it's from another planet – and a good planet. A planet with better designers."
The candied colored iMac launched with a marketing tagline titled: "Think Different" (http://vimeo.com/12471632
). Some people mistake being
different with thinking
different; at the time I also took the candied colors to be just a silly and expensive gimmick. But watch the keynote and you'll realize that the iMac wasn't just about relaunching a brand or building a weird looking computer. The iMac wasn't born out a exercise to design something different; the iMac was about building a better all-around computing experience for end users, with good design as its heart. It just so happened that good design went hand in hand with candied colors.
Anyone can be
different, but only a few bother to think
different. It's part of the reason why no other company has successfully replicated Jobs' recipe for success. Jobs took the time to think different, and had courage to stand firm when thinking different eventually also included being different.
Thanks Steve, for thinking different, because that has made the difference.