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John Lennon Inspired Steve Jobs to Strive for Perfection

John Lennon
Creative Services, Getty Images

John Lennon‘s creativity and work ethic didn’t just help ensure the Beatles‘ music was legendary, it also inspired Apple’s recently deceased co-founder Steve Jobs to strive for perfection within his company, according to an authorized biography of the visionary by Walter Isaacson.
A bootleg of the classic Beatles’ song ‘Strawberry Fields Forever,’ especially one part where Lennon stops the band from playing and makes them return to the beginning to revise a chord, fascinated Jobs, according to the biography, as reported by Showbiz 411.

“It’s a complex song, and it’s fascinating to watch the creative process as they went back and forth and finally created it over a few months. Lennon was always my favorite Beatle,” Isaacson quoted Jobs as saying before he addressed the chord change the two heard. “Did you hear that little detour they took? It didn’t work, so they went back and started from where they were…Yet they just didn’t stop. They were such perfectionists they kept it going and going.”

The care with which Lennon and the other Beatles crafted their songs “Made a big impression on me when I was in my thirties….They kept sending it back to make it closer to perfect,” Jobs said.

The Beatles’ sonic results were part of the reason Jobs held himself and his employees to such a strong work ethic driving them to work toward perfection.

“The way we build stuff at Apple is often this way. Even the number of models we’d make of a new notebook or iPod,” he said. “We would start off with a version and then begin refining and refining, doing detailed models of the design, or the buttons, or how a function operates. It’s a lot of work, but in the end it just gets better, and soon it’s like, ‘Wow, how did they do that?!? Where are the screws?’”

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