Feb 192013

The web has made us impatient about our writing. We think that if we start a blog, it should take a few months to impact thousands, or if we write a book, we should finish it within a year.

I have often wondered how long it takes to create something of lasting value. Now I have a definitive answer from the late Steve Jobs, who knows a thing or two about making an impact: It takes seven or eight years.

Here’s what he told author Brent Schlender, who interviewed him countless times: “I have been trained to think in units of time that are measured in several years. With what I’ve chosen to do with my life, you know, even a small thing takes a few years. To do anything of magnitude takes Continue reading »

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Oct 182011

I’m still mourning the death of Steve Jobs, a brilliant man who changed my life with beautifully-designed, practical products. But I’ve also been reading about the type of boss he was: bullying. Just like my own critical voice.

In the late 1980’s, I was working on a cover story for the NeXT machine, one of Job’s rare flops. The magazine’s editor-in-chief, main feature writer, and I (the executive editor) spent an afternoon interviewing Jobs about his new machine and his strategy.

I found it nerve-wracking to be around the guy. He had piercing eyes that bore into me, unblinking. He seemed to be thinking, “You are an idiot” whenever I spoke. I was simultaneously thrilled to be in his presence but couldn’t wait to get away.

Towards the end of our meeting, I suggested he appear on the cover. He scoffed and Continue reading »

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