What You Can Learn About Great Products and Stories from Steve Jobs (and Smule)

I was writing an article for the HuffPost the other day about Smule.com, a company that’s one of the top entertainment iPhone and iPad application developers, and it made me think about what Steve Jobs told me about creating great products for customers. It’s a secret that Steve shared with me ten years ago, when I did an interview with him for Schwab.com.


We were talking about the development of Pixar, which was a new company creating new technology at that time. They took the computer business and turned it into something people could personally relate to, and be intimately involved with–all because of their ability to tell stories. Steve basically said that the best thing you can do with technology is make it disappear.


“Pixar has invented a whole new medium of storytelling called computer animation. We’re the mecca for high end computer graphics,” Steve told me.


“However, one of the things that John Lasseter has said, who runs creative at Pixar and is an Academy Award winning director for the Toy Story films, is that no amount of technology can turn a bad story into a good story. Ultimately, what we want is for people to forget about the technology and judge our films based on our storytelling.
The combination of technical and creative brilliance is what makes Pixar so unique, and we hope make our films so unique.”


My HuffPost piece on Steve Jobs here. Watch and listen to my original interview with Steve Jobs in 1999 below: