Part of what makes Gladwell’s premise so wrong is that Jobs, clearly, was a tweaker too. Iteration — steady incremental improvements, prototype after prototype, design after design, year after year, release after release — that process is ingrained in Apple’s (and I think Pixar’s) culture. But Gladwell writes:
‘The visionary starts with a clean sheet of paper, and re-imagines the world. The tweaker inherits things as they are, and has to push and pull them toward some more nearly perfect solution.’
Steve Jobs really did re-imagine the world. The thing is, he actually made it happen, too.