My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.
I was lucky – I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents’ garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years, Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees.
I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.
My model for business is The Beatles: They were four guys that kept each others’ negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts.
The reason that Apple is able to create products like the iPad is because we’ve always tried to be at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts.
Throughout my years in business, I discovered something. I would always ask why you do things. The answers that I would invariably get are: ‘Oh, that’s just the way things are done around here.’ Nobody knows why they do what they do. Nobody thinks very deeply about things in business.
I think money is a wonderful thing because it enables you to do things. It enables you to invest in ideas that don’t have a short-term payback.
I believe life is an intelligent thing: that things aren’t random.
What is Apple, after all? Apple is about people who think ‘outside the box,’ people who want to use computers to help them change the world, to help them create things that make a difference, and not just to get a job done.
I’ve always wanted to own and control the primary technology in everything we do.
If you’re gonna make connections which are innovative… you have to not have the same bag of experiences as everyone else does.
The system is that there is no system. That doesn’t mean we don’t have process. Apple is a very disciplined company, and we have great processes. But that’s not what it’s about. Process makes you more efficient.
Apple took the edge off the word ‘computer.’
But innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem.
I’ve done a lot of things I’m not proud of, such as getting my girlfriend pregnant when I was 23 and the way I handled that.