Top 26 Walter Isaacson Quotes

Picasso had a saying – ‘good artists copy, great artists steal’ – and we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.


When the conventional wisdom of physics seemed to conflict with an elegant theory of his, Einstein was inclined to question that wisdom rather than his theory, often to have his stubbornness rewarded.


Henry Luce to his Time magazine writers: “Tell the history of our time through the people who make it.


Just because you can’t act EVERYWHERE doesn’t mean you don’t act ANYWHERE. – Madeleine Albright


As much as Henry Kissinger wanted to attribute historical movement to impersonal forces, he too conceded to “the difference personalities make”.


Simply handing over your iPod to a friend, your blind date, or the total stranger sitting next to you on the plane opens you up like a book.” (Steven Levy)


Sculley found Jobs as memorable as his machine. ” He seemed more a showman than a businessman. Every move seemed calculated, as if it was rehearsed, to create an occasion of the moment.


He knew that the best way to create value in the twenty-first century was to connect creativity with technology, so he built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering.


Kissinger would probably be outraged even if he reread his own memoirs, on the grounds that they are not favorable enough.


There should be an honored place in history for statesmen whose ideas turned out to be right.


What are the five products you want to focus on? Get rid of the rest, because they’re dragging you down. They’re turning you into Microsoft. They’re causing you to turn out products that are adequate but not great.


One of Job’s great strengths was knowing how to focus. ” Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do, ” he said. ” That’s true for companies, and it’s true for products.


Einstein’s was a beautiful mix of confidence and awe.


Steve and I spent a lot of time on the packaging,” said Ive. ” I love the process of unpacking something. You design a ritual of unpacking to make the product feel special. Packaging can be theater, it can create a story.


Customers don’t know what they want until we’ve shown them.


Unlike other product developers, Jobs did not believe the customer was always right; if they wanted to resist using a mouse, they were wrong.


We kind of missed the boat on that,” he recalled. ” So we needed to catch up real fast.” The mark of an innovative company is not only that it comes up with new ideas first, but also that it knows how to leapfrog when it find itself behind.


Not since the original Mac had a clarity of product vision so propelled a company into the future. ” If anybody was ever wondering why Apple is on the earth, I would hold up this as a good example


Steve’s sales pitch on the NeXT operating system was dazzling,” according to Amelio. ” He praised the virtues and strengths as though he were describing a performance of Oliver as Macbeth.


As Friedland had done and as Jobs would learn to do, he was able to turn charm into a cunning force, to cajole and intimidate and distort reality with the power of his personality


He wished to please everybody,” Franklin later said of Keith, “and having little to give, he gave expectations.


One sticking point was that Jobs wanted his payout to be in cash. Amelio insisted that he needed to “have skin in the game” and take the payout in stock that he would agree to hold for at least a year.


Asked about the fact that Apple’s iTunes software for Windows computers was extremely popular, Jobs joked, ‘It’s like giving a glass of ice water to somebody in hell.


I visited Jobs for the last time in his Palo Alto, Calif., home. He had moved to a downstairs bedroom because he was too weak to go up and down stairs. He was curled up in some pain, but his mind was still sharp and his humor vibrant.


When you write biographies, whether it’s about Ben Franklin or Einstein, you discover something amazing: They are human.


You can’t have a sustainable US economy without a great education system. Teach students to do the job right. You don’t have an innovative economy unless you have a great education.



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