Fareed speaks with Walter Isaacson, author of The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution, about why team work is essential to innovation. Watch the full interview on a GPS special on innovation in America, this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN.
The most important thing part of your book, given your biography of Steve Jobs, is that this isn't really about a single hero or even a couple of heroes.
Right. You know, when I was doing Steve Jobs, I thought he was a great romantic visionary, that lone inventor who, in the garage, does things. And when I asked him, near the end of his life, what product are you most proud of inventing, I thought he'd say the iPod or the iPhone, and he said, no, creating a product is hard, but creating a team, a company, is even harder. The best thing I ever invented was Apple, the team. And we went through it all. He starts with Wozniak as his partner and gets that Macintosh team under the pirate flag banner, all the way through to having Tim Cook, Johnny Ive, the best team in Silicon Valley. So I realized from him that creativity is a team sport, that it's a collaborative effort.
And how do you create a great team of innovators?
You know, the good thing is there's no single here's the five rules. So I think you have to look at it like creating a good baseball team or something – who's our utility player, who's our shortstop, who's our designated hitter, who's our pitcher? But the main thing is two positions. You need a visionary, because without a visionary, everything you do is barren. And you need somebody who can every day execute, because vision without execution is just hallucination. So that's the core of a good team. And then you have to say, OK, and we need a designer, we need an engineer, we need the right people to make it work.