Thursday, November 10, 2011

Here's to the crazy ones...

I just finished reading Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson this afternoon. I was googling on the day that Steve Jobs died and found that this biography was going to be released in a few weeks. I checked my library and saw that it was on order and ended up having the first hold on the book. I looked at the list a few days ago and now there are over 100 holds. Wow!

Before I started reading this book I “knew” who Steve Jobs was, but as I turned the last page I realized that I really didn’t know that much about who he was or all that he had accomplished. He was an extraordinary man. He was brilliant and passionate. He was a rebel.  I love how much I learned about him in this book, the good and the bad; ultimately, he was just as human as you and me.

Steve said, “My passion has been to build an enduring company where people were motivated to make great products. Everything else was secondary. Sure it was great to make a profit, because that was what allowed you to make great products. But the products, not the profits, were the motivation…Our job is to figure out what they’re going to want before they do.”

He continued by saying, “The reason Apple resonates with people is that there’s a deep current of humanity in our innovation. I think great artists and great engineers are similar, in that they both have a desire to express themselves.”

The days after he died, Steve Jobs quotes were floating around the internet and I saw many via facebook and twitter. After reading this book, many of those quotes were put into context for me.

By the end of 1982 Apple was looking for a new president. Jobs knew he wasn’t ready for that role. Sights were soon set on John Sculley, president of the Pepsi-Cola division of PepsiCo. After much courtship, Jobs finally said to Sculley, “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want a chance to change the world?”

In 1997, while Jobs was holding the interim CEO position at Apple, he began working on turning Apple’s brand and image around. He told his employees: “We at Apple had forgotten who we were. One way to remember who you are is to remember who your heros are.” Born from that was the “Think Different” campaign.

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

“Apple is about people who think outside the box, who want to use computers to help them change the world.”

In the wake of his death, the commencement speech that Steve Jobs gave at Stanford in June 2005 has probably been most quoted.

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything—all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

He explained about Apple’s integration and control of their devices, “We do them because we want to make great products, because we care about the user, and because we like to take responsibility for the entire experience rather than turn out the crap that other people make. They’re busy doing whatever they do best, and they want us to do what we do best.”

Finally, Jobs’ explained his drive by saying, “We try to use the talents we do have to express our deep feelings, to show our appreciation of all the contributions that came before us, and to add something to that flow. That’s what has driven me.”

Steve Jobs, February 24, 1955 - October 5, 2011

I hope you get the chance to read this book; it was so interesting and inspiring!

See [here] for the eulogy his sister, Mona Simpson wrote.

1 comment:

  1. Just started with this biography!Knowing that Steve is no longer among us makes this read a special one.