Real Artists Ship

Steve Jobs? Andy Hertzfeld? Nicholas Callaway? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: Developing and releasing a complicated product like a personal computer is an arduous task. Prominent business executive Steve Jobs employed the following adage to motivate the group designing the innovative Macintosh computer:

Real Artists Ship

Would you please explore this saying?

Quote Investigator: Andy Hertzfeld was a leading member of the Apple Macintosh development team which periodically held off-site retreats to mark progress and provide inspiration. The third occurred on January 27th and 28th, 1983 at the La Playa Hotel in Carmel, California. Hertzfeld asserted that Jobs employed the expression while addressing the team. Years later Hertzfeld started a website called folklore.org to share his memories, and the following excerpt is from the article titled “Credit Where Due”. Emphasis added to excerpts by QI: 1

Steve was fond of summarizing the themes of the day into a few succinct aphorisms, which he called “Quotations from Chairman Jobs”. The sayings from the previous retreat, held in September 1982, were “It’s Not Done Until It Ships”, “Don’t Compromise!” and “The Journey Is The Reward”. This time, they were “Real Artists Ship”, “It’s Better To Be A Pirate Than Join The Navy”, and “Mac in a Book by 1986”

The phrase “Quotations from Chairman Jobs” was wordplay based on the well-known book title “Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung”.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading Real Artists Ship

Notes:

  1. Website: Folklore.org, Article title: Credit Where Due, Article author: Andy Hertzfeld, Date of third retreat was January 27th and 28th, 1983, Timestamp of first comment on website article: April 18, 2004 03:26:32, Website description: “web site devoted to collective historical storytelling” with a focus on Apple computer company. (Accessed folklore.org on October 13, 2018) link

Point of View Is Worth 80 IQ Points

Alan Kay? Andy Hertzfeld? Michael Eisner? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: The Roman numeral system is powerful enough to express numbers such as 1776 (MDCCLXXVI), but the system is terrible for performing arithmetic operations such as division. A fresh perspective is required. A positional system such as the decimal numeral system is dramatically superior for computation. This is one example of a principle that can be informally conveyed with the following statements:

  • Point of view is worth 80 IQ points.
  • Perspective is worth 80 I.Q. points.
  • A change of perspective is worth 80 IQ points.

Xerox PARC researcher Alan Kay who pioneered personal computing and object-oriented programming has received credit for this saying. Would you please help me to find a citation?

Quote Investigator: Andy Hertzfeld was a leading member of the Apple Macintosh development team. In July 1982 he attended a lecture by Alan Kay and found the delivered remarks so insightful that he recorded them in a notebook. Years later he started a website called folklore.org and shared some of his lecture notes. Emphasis added to excerpts by QI: 1

Slogans:
Better is the enemy of best
Relative judgements have no place in art
Systems programmers are high priests of a low cult
Point of view is worth 80 IQ points
Good ideas don’t often scale

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading Point of View Is Worth 80 IQ Points

Notes:

  1. Website: Folklore.org, Article title: Creative Think, Article author: Andy Hertzfeld, Date of Alan Kay lecture given on website: July 20, 1982, Timestamp of first comment on website article: April 19, 2005 23:37:51, Website description: “web site devoted to collective historical storytelling” with a focus on Apple computer company. (Accessed folklore.org on May 29, 2018) link