Ask Bjoern Hansen: Ipods

Ask Bjoern Hansen “I didn’t expect much when I resorted to asking, in so many words, whether he thinks consciously about innovation.

”No,” [Steve Jobs] said, peevishly. ”We consciously think about making great products. We don’t think, ‘Let’s be innovative!”’ He waved his hands for effect. ”’Let’s take a class! Here are the five rules of innovation, let’s put them up all over the company!”’

Well, I said defensively, there are people who do just that.

”Of course they do.” I felt his annoyance shift elsewhere. ”And it’s like . . . somebody who’s not cool trying to be cool. It’s painful to watch. You know what I mean?” He looked at me for a while, and I started to think he was trying to tell me something. Then he said, ”It’s like . . . watching Michael Dell try to dance.” The P.R. minder guffawed. ”Painful,” Jobs summarized.”