Apple’s Declaration of Values: Simplify, Perfect, Delight
“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.”
— Steve Jobs, WWDC 1997
A refined version of OS X. A reimagining of iOS. New MacBook Airs. The Mac Pro recast as a diminutive onyx monolith. These were the big product announcements to come out of Apple’s WWDC keynote on Monday. But there was one other, and while not hardware or software, it was equally important: A manifesto.
Presented in two videos that bookended the keynote address, it was at once a mission statement for the post-Steve Jobs era and a paean to the Apple co-founder’s vision for the company. It’s a “Think Different” campaign for the next phase of Apple’s evolution, and it speaks to Apple’s drive for perfection, Jobs’s “we just want to make great products” refrain, and his 1997 observation that “innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.”
“The first thing we ask is: What do we want people to feel? Delight. Surprise. Love. Connection. Then we begin to craft around our intention. It takes time. There are a thousand no’s for every yes. We simplify. We perfect. We start over. Until everything we touch enhances each life it touches. Only then do we sign our work.”
“This is it. This is what matters. The experience of a product. How will it make someone feel? Will it make life better? Does it deserve to exist? We spend a lot of time on a few great things until every idea we touch enhances each life it touches. You may rarely look at it, but you’ll always feel it. This is our signature. And it means everything.”
Ambitious? Absolutely. Self-consciously soulful? Sure.
But the spots set Apple up as a company on a quest for perfection. As answers to critics who claim it has lost its way, and perhaps its ability to innovate, they’re pretty powerful.
And the questions they ask are understated but clear shots at the philosophical underpinnings of Apple’s rivals.
“If you are busy making everything, how can you perfect anything?”
“This is what matters. The experience of a product. How will it make someone feel? Will it make life better? Does it deserve to exist?”
Do the folks at Samsung sit around puzzling over such questions?
The two videos — “Designed by Apple – Intention” and “Our Signature” — below.