Everything, and yet nothing, had changed. In Jobs' mind, the Apple brand has always been about design perfection - whether it's software or hardware.
As far back as 1982, he was actively encouraging his designers to think of themselves as artists. Back then, he took his Mac design team on a field trip to a Louis Comfort Tiffany exhibition, because Tiffany was an artist who was able to mass-produce his art - just as Jobs wanted to do.
He even insisted that his design team sign the interior of the Macintosh case, like artists signing their work. "He encouraged each one of us to feel personally responsible for the quality of the product," Hertzfeld says.
The way Apple people work has not changed either. They turn in long hours with a passionate, almost messianic fervour, driven by the fear-tinged respect that Steve Jobs inspired.
Under Jobs' guidance, Ive and his team have gone on to give us the iPod, iPhone and iPad. Perfection as a brand value requires ultimate control, which in turn requires the ultimate control freak.
As Jobs departs for this final time, he will be comforted to know that excellence has been institutionally ingrained in Apple's products, and that only mismanagement on a cataclysmically dire scale can shake the Apple brand free of the quality that people have come to associate with it.
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