Thinking about Steve Jobs
The remembrances have poured in. I even wrote one for a client. So you may wonder (at least I do) why I would spend time writing something about Steve Jobs at the JuiceBar.
Well, for a couple of reasons.
First, Steve Jobs was a genius. He did change things – in computing, music, entertainment. God knows I supported him. I bought the Macintosh soon after it came out. Then another. Then another. When he came out with that wedge computer thing, I was there wallet in hand. Over the years I’ve purchased a truck load – no, shipload – of Steve Jobs’ stuff not only for me but for my family.
I bought iMac laptops for each of my children after they graduated from high school. In fact, the amount of other Apple ‘i’ variations that I’ve purchased for my wife and family could … well … let’s just say that if I hadn’t I may have been able to retire by now. (I was rummaging through the desk and basement the other day and came across a stack of a half-dozen of the old, bulky, and expensive! pre-historic iPods … yes, they’ve only been around for ten years but it seems a lifetime).
Second, he was just one really interesting guy. If you haven’t read his Stanford graduating address, you should. It is daring, sharp, challenging, and exciting. A reflection of the person himself. And if you haven’t read the Apple story, you should. Go to Amazon and type in “Steve Jobs” and “Apple”. Here. I’ll save you the keystrokes. Click this. You can spend the next year of your life reading about him, his story, and his “secrets” that people claim Jobs had.
Funny. Get secrets for a few bucks. Guess they’re not so secret are they? And believe me, if it were up to Jobs the secrets wouldn’t be selling for so cheap.
I’ve never met Steve Jobs. And because I’m in the profession that I’m in I have a healthy suspicion that the person we read about and hear about in the media is likely very different than reality. But hey, the mythology of Steve Jobs is our reality so let’s go with that.
Here’s what Steve Jobs’ life taught me.
To do great, transformative things in business you need to have a unique combination of vision, daring, and resilience. It takes all three. Without the vision you’re boring and are just making money. Without the daring you’ll be improving on what is, not creating the new. And without resilience, you’ll never survive the failures that inevitably come.
Few people have all three of those qualities to the extent that Steve Jobs seemed to. I know I don’t!
Not many of us out there are going to ever create the next Apple. Few of us will either have the opportunity or ability to change and create new categories like Steve Jobs did. But we are people and we do live in a community. What if we took what meager measures of what we do have – our vision, our daring, and our resilience – and applied them not just to a company or a product or a piece of business … but to our faith, our family, our friends and the people around us.
In other words, what if we took these exemplary attributes of Steve Jobs and just applied them to our everyday stuff. We could all do that, couldn’t we? And if we did, what would that look like?
Steve Jobs said, “Your time is limited. Don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”