People get confused, companies get confused. When they start getting bigger they want to replicate their initial success. And a lot of them think somehow there’s some magic in the process.
So they try to institutionalize process across the company, and before very long people get confused that the process is the content.
That was ultimately the downfall of IBM. IBM has the best process people in the world. They just forgot about content.
And that’s a little what happened at Apple too. We had a lot of people that were great at management process. They just didn’t have a clue as to the content.
And in my career I found that the best people are the ones that really understand the content and they’re a pain in the butt to manage. But you put up with it because they’re so great at the content.
And that’s what makes great products — it’s not process, it’s content.
There’s so much that is amazing in this interview with Steve Jobs from 1995, one year before he returned to Apple. Well worth watching in its entirety. (And it’s free to stream for Amazon Prime members.)
Related: management is the enemy.