Don Melton: A Decade at the Fruit Company

In my ongoing series of transcribing what Don Melton said, here’s a great quote from a talk he gave at NSNorth 2014 about his time at Apple:

One thing that always impressed me about Apple, one thing that Steve brought to the company, some say with a vengeance upon his return, was a narrow, bright beam of attention and effort on what really mattered most, and a single-minded will to iterate and iterate and iterate and iterate until we fucking got it right.

I look at other organizations who just throw shit at the wall, beta after beta after beta, sometimes looking up to see what sticks. Or those that make scores of slightly different devices, hundreds of configurations, that even they can’t tell apart, let alone their customers. And of course, I don’t see focus there. Because focus is hard, because it’s about making decisions. Decisions that have consequences, decisions that change things, decisions that change people. And some companies and some people don’t want to make those hard decisions. Because that takes courage.

If there’s one thing about Apple you should emulate in your business and your life, it’s not the innovation everybody talks about. It’s the focus that makes it possible.

The quote is from the very end of the talk. I encourage you to watch the whole thing.