Steve Jobs on Modern Dance’s Influence

This passed across our desks this week, and we felt it appropriate to share. In an interview published in Roger Von Oech’s book on creativity, A Whack on the Side of the Head, Steve Jobs of Apple points to the impact of his experience in modern dance at Reed College in the 1970’s on his way of thinking about certain computer games, which, like choreography, deal with the movement of bodies in time and space.

“Innovation,” he said, “is usually the result of connections of past experience…. [At Reed] most of the men took modern dance classes from a woman named Judy Massee. We did it to meet the women. I didn’t realize how much I learned about movement and perception from the class until a few years later, when I worked at Atari. I was able to relate how much resolution of movement you need in terms of perceiving things in certain ways for video games”.