Steve Jobs’ favorite sweater

I was looking for some old photos of Steve Jobs to use in a post when I noticed something about these two images:

On the first one you can see Steve with Bill Gates and journalist Brent Schlender at Jobs’s home in July 1991. On the second it’s Steve and John Lasseter at Pixar headquarters on September 18, 1997.

The photographs have been taken 6 years apart but Steve is wearing practically the same exact sweater.

Somehow I was not surprised. After all it was such a Steve Jobs thing to do. To know exactly what you like and stick with that.

Not run blindly towards the next trend.

This kind of intentionality also seems very Apple-like: just because everyone else is doing something (adding Blu-ray drives, mega-pixels, or USB ports), doesn’t mean they would.

Yet, so many tech startups I talk to seem to think in precisely opposite terms.

“We want X because Y are doing that”, I hear often.

As a company, especially where innovation is concerned, you really don’t want a mindset like this. It’s not that it’s unoriginal and without character. It signals lack of conviction in your own reasoning.

It’s easy to jump onto whatever is hot at the moment… but it doesn’t mean you should. Do things your own way. For your own reasons.

Know what your favorite sweater is.