Here’s a great excerpt from Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography:
There falls a shadow, T.S. Eliot noted, between the conception and the creation. In the annals of innovation, new ideas are only part of the equation. Execution is just as important.
[Steve] Jobs and his engineers significantly improved the graphical interface ideas they saw at Xerox PARC, and then were able to implement them in ways that Xerox never could accomplish. For example, the Xerox mouse had three buttons, was complicated, cost $300 apiece, and didn’t roll around smoothly; a few days after his second Xerox PARC visit, Jobs went to a local industrial design firm, IDEO, and told one of its founders, Dean Hovey, that he wanted a simple single-button model that cost $15, “and I want to be able to use it on Formica and my blue jeans.” Hovey complied.
I’ve been reading the book very … slowly … ever … since … Christmas.