Great Artists

Good artists copy, great artists steal.

– Steve Jobs, by way of Picasso (maybe)

Steve Jobs famously appropriated this quote, and it’s been used, out of context, to justify all manner of evils ever since. It has been twisted to mean, “Do what it takes to be successful, because history remembers the winners, not the innovators.” Watch this video of that famous line again, though:

Steve Jobs (and Picasso) are not actually telling people it is okay to outright steal. They’re reminding us to learn from the best. Build off their successes. Improve. Iterate. Not claim someone else’s inventions as our own, but use our limited resources to deliver new value instead of reinventing the wheel.

I’m going to take a page from his book and steal his quote, with my own spin:

Good artists copy, great artists incorporate.

– Kevin Tarchenski

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