The Hidden Influence of Apple’s Legacy – Steve Jobs

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Apple co-founder Steve Jobs once shared how his father, Paul Jobs, played an intrinsic role in his success. According to Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson, Paul Jobs taught Steve the importance of quality and attention to detail from a young age.

The Lesson from the Fence

Walter Isaacson recounted a story where Paul Jobs taught his son how to build a fence around their home in California. During this project, Paul emphasized the importance of craftsmanship, saying, “You’ve got to make the back of the fence, that nobody will see, just as good looking as the front of the fence. Even though nobody will see it, you will know, and that will show that you’re dedicated to making something perfect.” This lesson on meticulousness and pride in one’s work had a profound impact on Steve Jobs.

Applying the Lesson at Apple

Steve Jobs applied this philosophy throughout his career at Apple. Isaacson noted that Jobs insisted everything at Apple be of the highest quality, even the aspects that customers would never see. Jobs ensured that the insides of Apple products, including microchips and screws, were beautifully designed and meticulously crafted, reflecting his dedication to excellence. This unwavering commitment to quality became a hallmark of Apple’s products and contributed to the company’s reputation for innovation and superior design.

Steve Jobs’ Reflection on His Father’s Influence

Steve Jobs often reflected on the influence of his father’s teachings. He once said, “When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall.” This analogy highlighted his belief that true craftsmanship requires integrity and attention to detail, regardless of whether the work is visible to others.

Mark Cuban on His Father’s Influence

Even billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban has acknowledged the significant impact his father had on his success. Cuban noted that his father’s work ethic and life lessons shaped his own path. He stated, “This time wasn’t spent to learn about what my dad did, but to learn that his job didn’t have a future. His time was never his own … he wanted me to create my own path.” This perspective encouraged Cuban to pursue his ambitions and carve out a unique career path.

The lessons imparted by Steve Jobs’ and Mark Cuban’s fathers highlight the importance of quality, craftsmanship, and finding one’s own path. These principles not only influenced their personal success but also shaped the cultures of their respective companies. For Steve Jobs, his father’s advice about building a fence exemplified a deeper commitment to excellence that became a foundational element of Apple’s identity.

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