By all accounts, Steve Jobs is no engineer. He was never a programming maven like Bill, nor was he a hardware wiz like Woz. On his own, Jobs could not create much of anything. But that’s not his superpower.
Though a good critic can influence the community of creators, in the end, he does not create anything himself. But take that critic and put him in charge of the creators. Make him, let’s say, the founder, CEO, and spiritual leader of several thousand of the most talented engineers and artists in the computer industry. What might happen then?
I’ll tell you what happens: the iMac, the iPod, iTunes, Mac OS X, iLife, the iPhone. I believe Steve Jobs’s “peculiar predisposition” is not so unlike mine. (There’s a reason that “This is shit!” is one of his best known catch phrases, after all.) I further believe that, seemingly against all odds, Jobs has found a way to parlay this skill into an improbable orgy of creation. He is Apple’s übercritic: one man to pare a torrent of creativity and expertise down to a handful of truly great products by picking apart every prototype, challenging every idea, and finding the flaws that no one else can see.