In a post-Steve-Jobs world, there is no longer an excuse for large corporations to be less bold than start-ups. Elegance, character, artistic integrity, and ruthless dedication to design can no longer be derided as luxuries of those who don’t have anything to lose. Apple is now one of the largest, most successful companies in the world, but it still behaves as if all of its employees could fit in a 9×7-inch photo.
In an article in the premiere issue of Macworld, members of the Macintosh team were each given a few paragraphs to talk about the project. The very last entry is from Steve Jobs, who characteristically starts by deflecting credit. “The people who are doing the work are the motivating force behind the Macintosh. My job is to create a space for them, to clear out the rest of the organization and keep it at bay.”
He ends nostalgically, a wizened veteran of the tech industry at the ripe old age of 29, contemplating the future of the Macintosh team. “The group might stay together maybe for one more iteration of the product, and then they’ll go their separate ways. For a very special moment, all of us have come together to make this new product. We feel this may be the best thing we’ll ever do with our lives.”