What we learn from Steve Jobs: Clarity of vision without compromise

“In recent days, everyone has taken the news of Steve Jobs’ resignation and illness in different ways,” Scott Belsky writes for The 99 Percent.

“For me, it has conjured up admiration and curiosity. More than anything else, I have always respected Jobs’ clarity,” Belsky writes. “True, the man has always shunned the status quo, but I believe his rebel ways were only a consequence of his efforts to stay true to an original vision.”

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Belsky writes, “Jobs didn’t ‘think different’ just for the sake of it, he just refused to conform to traditional expectations and limitations… Some say Jobs’ possessed a ‘reality distortion field.’ I’d argue that it was, in fact, a sense of clarity so powerful that no obstacle could get in the way of creating perfect products.”

Much more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Eugenio” for the heads up.]


  1. I felt awful when I heard the news of Jobs resignation as CEO. I felt bad because he was in the perfect job, loving it, and doing it on a level that few can match. There aren’t a lot of us that love what we do, but he was one of the lucky ones and I felt very bad that he wasn’t going to be able to do what he loved anymore.

  2. The distortion field that Wintel people like to use to try to explain our adoration of Steve and Apples’ products is hard for them to understand. All the wonderful products that Apple has created for us were onstage with Steven, they are the best any Tech company can build. That is why when Steven spoke we listened with open ears (and pocket books!) No distortion field needed, maybe it is really a “reality field” !

  3. The MDN headline uses the phrase “without compromise”, which is not the headline of the original article.

    We are always seeing people talking about designs without compromise, but anybody who has ever designed something will realise that compromise is almost inevitable in most stages of the design process.

    There is rarely one perfect solution, a good design needs to balance multiple criteria and often that will mean balancing mutually exclusive principles. For instance, if you use the fastest processor, it may use too much battery power. If you use a bigger battery, it will weigh more. If you make it thinner it will be more fragile. Then there are cost constraints, if you make it too expensive, you won’t sell many.

    Obviously Apple tackles these problems head on and uses advanced technology to balance the processor speed against power consumption and employs state of the art battery technology and mechanical design to get a good balance between weight, strength, smallness and operational life, but the fact remains that these are still compromises, albeit immensely carefully judged compromises.

    1. alanaudio –

      Aye, “without compromise” is overstating it, but the fact of the matter is that Jobs has been historically unwilling to compromise (much) his vision in favor of getting a product to market quickly or increasing profit margin. He’s been rumored to completely shut down hardware & softward projects after very large investments in R&D and even prototyping if they failed to meet his vision or standards.

      “Great” is his standard, and if it didn’t meet his standard, he didn’t want it to exist. No matter what the other considerations were.

  4. actually many CEOs have ‘vision’ and are willing to pursue their vision ruthlessly ‘without compromise’ — you don’t get to be Top Dog without a big ego — but the thing is often times their visions are wrong….

    The captain of the Titanic also had ‘vision’ and ‘belief’ and didn’t listen to ‘obstructionists’….

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