There can be no creativity without limits. Sounds strange, but limits are the cause and reason of creativity. Consider this: you are standing on a perfectly smooth surface wearing perfectly smooth shoes. No limits, right? Except you can’t move…
I’ve said that to open a novel is to arrive in a music hall and be handed a viola. You have to perform. [Laughs.] To stare at horizontal lines of phonetic symbols and Arabic numbers and to be able to put a show on in your head, it requires the reader to perform. If you can do it, you can go whaling in the South Pacific with Herman Melville, or you can watch Madame Bovary make a mess of her life in Paris.
What’s so good about systematic observation? It’s the key to knowing what’s working and what isn’t, how people are using technology and other tools in the course of the workday, how workers extract meaning (or don’t) from their work, and so forth. We all make sweeping generalizations about these and many other topics, but we don’t really know.
The design of the iPhone is such that all other mobile phones, including those released after the iPhone, look not only old but antiquated and even defective.
Only one company can be the best, while quite clearly only one company can be the cheapest and design has a role in enabling all of the others to actually up their game and make a meaningful mark.