“There’s just a tremendous amount of craftsmanship in between a great idea and a great product”

Steve Jobs in 1995:

There’s just a tremendous amount of craftsmanship in between a great idea and a great product. And as you evolve that great idea, it changes and grows. It never comes out like it starts because you learn a lot more as you get into the subtleties of it. And you also find there are tremendous tradeoffs that you have to make. There are just certain things you can’t make electrons do. There are certain things you can’t make plastic do. Or glass do. Or factories do. Or robots do.

Designing a product is keeping five thousand things in your brain and fitting them all together in new and different ways to get what you want. And every day you discover something new that is a new problem or a new opportunity to fit these things together a little differently.

This is why almost all successful startups have founders who understand business, design, and technology. Product development is the process of navigating a maze - not three separate mazes, but a single maze that intersects all these functions. The people navigating the maze need the full authority of the company behind them.

58 thoughts on ““There’s just a tremendous amount of craftsmanship in between a great idea and a great product”

  1. Heh. There’s a good argument to be made that people in tech got too fancy with 1) business models, 2) organizational structure. Now we are returning to simple model of few (key) people making products/services customers want.

  2. Love the maze analogy Chris! Would add that the maze runs uphill and can often be haunted with spooks and no-sayers telling you ‘gooo back’, ‘wrong way’ at every turn :)
    Nor does the maze really end when you emerge triumphant with your perfectly honed jewel of a product. Turns out it’s just a clearing at the centre of the maze and the journey continues anew.
    But we love it, right ;)

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