Book Excerpt Reveals Steve Jobs's Thoughts On Ginger/Segway

Harvard Business School has posted an excerpt from Code Name Ginger, a book about Dean Kamenis much-hyped Segway Human Transporter. In the excerpt, Kamen is holding a meeting where he has invited Amazon.comis Jeff Bezos and Appleis Steve Jobs, along with various investors and acquaintances. Jobs was not afraid to speak his mind during the meeting, at one point saying, "I think [the design] sucks. Its shape is not innovative, itis not elegant and it doesnit feel anthropomorphic." From the excerpt:

"What does everyone think about the design?" asked [Ginger Venture Capitalist John] Doerr, switching subjects.

"What do you think?" said Jobs to [Ginger presenter Tim Adams]. It was a challenge, not a question.

"I think itis coming along," said Tim, "though we expect--"

"I think it sucks!" said Jobs.

His vehemence made Tim pause. "Why?" he asked, a bit stiffly.

"It just does."

"In what sense?" said Tim, getting his feet back under him. "Give me a clue."

"Its shape is not innovative, itis not elegant, it doesnit feel anthropomorphic," said Jobs, ticking off three of his design mantras.

"You have this incredibly innovative machine but it looks very traditional." The last word delivered like a stab. Doug Field and Scott Waters would have felt the wound; they admired Appleis design sense. Deanis intuition not to bring Doug had been right. "There are design firms out there that could come up with things weive never thought of," Jobs continued, "things that would make you s*** in your pants."

There is a lot more in the full excerpt at the Harvard Business Schoolis Web site, including more quotes from Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, and other information. We recommend it as a very good read.

You can order the book directly from Amazon.com, which currently has it priced at US$19.57.