“The myth — repeated ad nauseam by Apple naysayers — is that Steve Jobs stole the ideas behind the Macintosh from Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune. “The truth is that he paid for them — with 100,000 shares of his company a year before its initial public offering.”
“The deeper truth, which Malcom (“The Tipping Point”) Gladwell explores at length in the current issue of the New Yorker, is that Jobs had no interest in reproducing the work the team at Xerox PARC had done,” P.E.D. reports.
Gladwell writes: “The difference between direct and indirect manipulation—between three buttons and one button, three hundred dollars and fifteen dollars, and a roller ball supported by ball bearings and a free-rolling ball—is not trivial. It is the difference between something intended for experts, which is what Xerox PARC had in mind, and something that’s appropriate for a mass audience, which is what Apple had in mind. PARC was building a personal computer. Apple wanted to build a popular computer.”
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