I decided recently to pick up the book written by Ken Kocienda to understand how Apple went about buliding great software during the golden-era of Apple product development. I really resonate with he seven elements essential to Apple’s software success:
1.) Inspiration 2.) Collaboration 3.) Craft 4.) Diligence 5.) Decisiveness 6.) Taste 7.) Empathy
I think it’s the last one in that list that really struck me as something that is 100% why I fell in love with Apple software. Before I started to learn how to program back in 2012, I watched a video of Steve Jobs answering questions at WWDC during his first year back at Apple since his exile in the 1980’s. My biggest take away, and something that will live with me forever in regards to making a great product is when he said this:
You have to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You can’t start with the technology and then try to figure out where you’re going to sell it. I’ve made this mistake more than anyone in this room, and I have the scar tissue to prove it.
Which is why I believe empathy for the cutomer is so important and is missing from many of the software products designed today. I only hope that Apple continues to think in this way as they continue to go forward in the future. For Steve’s full response, got to the link below.
Steve Jobs @ WWDC