10 Lessons On What Makes Apple Great

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Nice article by Farhad Manjoo on the secret sauce that makes Apple/Jobs so great. Best part is one product manager’s description of the creation of Apple’s iDVD program. The designers spent weeks coming up with interface mock-ups and application architecture diagrams. Then Steve walks in…

He doesn’t look at any of our work. He picks up a marker and goes over to the whiteboard. He draws a rectangle. ‘Here’s the new application,’ he says. ‘It’s got one window. You drag your video into the window. Then you click the button that says burn. That’s it. That’s what we’re going to make.’

Orville Wright Did Not Have a Pilot’s License

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So declares Gordon MacKenzie; the title of this post is the entirety of Chapter 19 in his short, illustrated, and wonderful book, Orbiting the Giant Hairball. The titular “Hairball” is the modern corporation, with “Orbiting” being his suggested technique for surviving employment by one. His advice, gained from three decades at Hallmark? Keep a measured distance from the bureaucratic tangle that defines most companies, and do so by taking some risks and striving for originality. Hence his citing of the unlicensed Mr. Wright.

Thanks to Bob Sutton for turning me on to this great book, worthy of buying for the illustrations alone.

Guru, Rest in Peace


Jazz Thing by Gang Starr

The best part of the completely delightful “Jazz Thing” are Guru’s vocals, reportedly adapted from a poem about the history of jazz by Lolis Eric Elie. The song originally appeared on the soundtrack to Spike Lee’s Mo’ Better Blues, and may well have been the best thing about the movie. Guru continued to dapple in hip hop/jazz fusions, most successfully on Jazzmatazz Volume 1. He died last month, but leaves behind an impressive musical legacy.

Scott Joplin’s rags, Bessie Smith’s blues
St. Louis blues, they were all the news
Ringin smooth.. in all the listeners ears
Fulfillin the needs, and plantin the seeds
of a jazz thing