“It takes a lot of hard work,” Steve Jobs once said, “to make something simple, to truly understand the underlying challenges and come up with elegant solutions.”

Picasso began working on the now-iconic bulls on December 12th. The first print was “a superb, well-rounded bull,” Mourlot noted.


“I thought to myself that that was that. But not at all.” Picasso began creating subsequent lithographs, each one more pared down than the last. “He could see that we were puzzled,” Mourlot continued. “He made a joke, he went on working, and then he produced another bull. And each time less and less of the bull remained. He used to look at me and laugh. ‘Look…’ he would say, ‘we ought to give this bit to the butcher.’”

One course offered by Apple University—“Communicating at Apple,” taught by Randy Nelson, former dean of Pixar University—focused on all levels of communication, ranging from intuitive product design to successful marketing. One of Nelson’s slides featured all 11 versions of “The Bull”—the point being, according to one attendee, that “you go through more iterations until you can simply deliver your message in a very concise way, and that is true to the Apple brand and everything we do.”


So, yes, computers—and, for that matter, bulls—are extremely complex. But that wasn’t the point for Jobs or for Picasso. As the former Apple CEO explained: “The way we’re running the company, the product design, the advertising, it all comes down to this: Let’s make it simple. Really simple.”