Zen Buddhism shaped Jobs’s design sensibility and business philosophy.
One of the Zen principles that be borrowed was that of Ma. Ma states that a thing is defined not just by what it is, but what it is not — that a sculpture is beautiful because of both the rock taken away and the rock left behind.
A few examples of how he applied this principle in his products:
- The floppy drive was absent from Apple’s company-reviving iMac
- The optical drive was eliminated from the laptop-redefining Macbook Air
- The physical keyboard was excluded from the game-changing, touch-only iPhone
A thing is defined not just by what it is, but by what it is not!
Corollary: Your Strategy or your Product are defined not just by what they are, but by what they are not!