Design
Design

For Jobs, how a product looked, felt and responded trumped raw technical specifications. While PC makers chased after faster processor speeds, Jobs pursued clever, minimalist design.

One ex-Apple employee remembers sitting in a meeting with Jobs, who was mulling over the appeal of Mini Coopers. (An old coworker of his sold them at the time.)

"He finally decided they were cool because they were small," he says. "Steve said that's when he knew Apple had to get really good at metal. Most computer makers at the time were all using plastic, but he knew to get smaller, you had to get metal really, really well."

The move paid off: Apple's titanium-turned-aluminum notebooks became bestsellers. The most recent MacBook Air models have been held up as examples of the ideal intersection of design, price and performance.


By JP Mangalindan, writer-reporter @FortuneMagazine - Last updated December 23 2011: 7:41 AM ET
Join the Conversation
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.