" He Who is Afraid of Asking is Afraid of Learning... " ~ (Danish Proverb)

The Steve Jobs’ Effect

With the recent resignation of Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, it is difficult to read the headlines of any major news site without some reference to this unfortunate – though many say not unexpected – event.

So time for me to write a blog this week, and I thought -”what impact has Steve Jobs had on me, my productivity, the way I look at technology…?”

Well, let’s start with the fact that now I actually look at technology without trying to fight it with an invisible sword. After battling the smart phone war within for 5 years, I was woo’d over by the IPhone’s promise of a built-in, dynamic GPS that could get me anywhere I needed to go. Three years later, I am proud to say that, while I’ve yet to use its GPS functionality, I have become an avid IPhone aficionado with an APP for everything including but not limited to: my grocery list, hurricane tracking, the Today Show, my favorite blogs and radio stations, The Harvard Business Review, Kindle, Skype and – of course (being a wordie at heart) – Scrabble. And, though I have not crossed over fully yet, I do have friends and family who love their IPads and MacBooks and simply would not look back.

Reasons to be an IPhone groupie aside, as I read more and more of the articles about Steve Jobs, I realized that his success was born of and founded upon truths which should be fundamental to us all….

(Author’s Note: Listed in no particular order – these are by no means his only lessons, but rather the ones which impacted me most. ) *

Steve Job’s insights into life :

  • “If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, would you still want to do what you’re about to do today?” [N] Of any of his statements, this one held the most weight for me. Perhaps because I knew it came from someone who has/is facing death head-on or perhaps because such a simple question should have an equally simple answer. And if the answer is not simple, then perhaps it’s not the right answer…so keep asking yourself this question…I know I will.
  • Don’t pander — better.We didn’t build the Mac for anybody else. We built it for ourselves.” [N ] For some it is the hardest way, for others it is the ONLY way – whether you fail or succeed, live as YOU believe. For without beliefs on which to stand, your work ethic and moral compass will falter like a weakly rooted tree in hurricane force winds and eventually topple over. And, although it IS important to win friends and influence people (Thank you, Dale Carnegie), it’s equally (if not more important) to be true to your own standards and let those standards lead the way regardless of consequence. Often the consequence of leading by others’ opinions results in your certain demise.
  • Build a temple. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.…” [N] Jobs’ statement holds its weight by framing work as a temple. If you are a person of great faith, or even one who understands history and faith, then you know that you would never think of entering a sacred temple without the greatest respect for what is housed within it. And so holds true for your own work – whether personal or professional, it is up to you to value what you do and its inherent worth; build a moat of respect and success around your own output and the integrity of your reputation.
  • Have taste. “The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste. They have absolutely no taste.” [N] Jobs defines “taste” as the opposite of “tackiness” and goes on to say that “…We might just be approaching the tackiest point in history known to man.” First impressions, lasting quality, and sincere effort just are not where they should be today and have not been for a very long time. So, Jobs’ took the high road to ensure that his products blew all others out the water in aesthetics, function and thoughtfulness. And for anyone who has ever sat at an Apple store’s “Genius Bar”, you have experienced that service and the kind of camaraderie among customers and employees alike which arises only when shared beliefs in a product and level of service are at the forefront.

Wishing You Success,

Image Courtesy of : victusspiritus.com

Quotes courtesy of – MSNBC, random interviews, Huff Post, Umair Haque

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