Perfectionism Schmerfectionism

One of the things we were led to believe in 2011 was a myth about Steve Jobs being a perfectionist. This myth was given a free pass by everyone from The New Yorker on down.

In reality, his perfectionism, while noted and admired on this blog countless times, was highly selective and limited only to those items, like the shapes of screws and the desire to have no buttons, that captured Jobs’ imagination.

Other things at Apple were not subject to his selective perfectionism.

Take the iOS-to-USB sync cable. Please.

I’m thinking the  Sync Cable Team is to Apple what the Delta Tau Chis are to fraternity row on Animal House. Steve obviously did not care what went on there. Heck, they could have been dropping acid, for all he cared. At least that’s my theory.

How else can one explain why, after manufacturing these cables for a decade, Apple still hasn’t perfected a means to produce them in a way that will make them last longer than a few months without become frayed and cracked?

I currently have three cables that all look like the one pictured above. Well, not exactly like the one above. The one above is the only one I’ve added some duct tape to.

  • crb

    I’ve always taken his perfectionism as having to do with design, and not durability. Durability is also a component of design, but I don’t think that’s a component he was most interested in. In other words, I think you’re confused on the actual topic.

    The new cables that connect the air to the charger are slightly different than previously, and although they’re more awkward, I’m almost certain they will last longer.

  • I’m probably going to jinx myself saying this, but I’ve never had one of their sync cables fray on me. 😉

    However, I hold the second generation AppleTV as my proof of Jobs’ lack of perfectionism. That thing is the most expensive paperweight I’ve ever bought.

  • Yes, you are going to jinx yourself.