October marks the fifth year of his passing !
Ever since we shifted to the bay area, Cupertino held a special place in my heart. It was not the Apple fever – I had known about the life of Steve Jobs for more than two decades. His life story was nothing short of a booster flu shot for any entrepreneur! On his fifth anniversary this year could not help but pen this down: –
Steve Jobs talks about “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. 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.
Indeed, starting with Jobs himself, the “crazy ones” have changedthe world. But they’ve changed us, too. He and others have changed the way we see ourselves as citizens of the world. It isthis last aspect — the way technology helps us understand what we are able to do in this vast world around us — that is Steve Jobs’most important legacy.
Technology has given the crazy ones a platform for change, but it couldn’t have done so had it required them to be less crazy, less misfit, less rebellious. There is a reason the innovators of yesterday, today, and tomorrow are able to do what they do.
They see the world differently — much has been made over the years about Steve Jobs’ “reality distortion field”. But as Jobs’ biographer, Walter Isaacson, and others have noted, this aspect to Jobs has perhaps been instrumental in his ability to achieve the success he’s had.
Jobs was a creative genius, to be sure. It’s arguable whether it is possible to become a “crazy one”; that is, whether viewing the world the way visionaries do can be learned. But Jobs was also monomaniacal in focussing on realizing his vision — whatever it happened to be at that moment. He had a – singularity of focus that those of us wanting to leave an impact might study and train ourselves to emulate.
In 2005, Jobs delivered the commencement speech at Stanford University. He mentioned The Whole Earth Catalog, which he called “one of the bibles of my generation.”
This was in the late 1960’s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and Polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, overflowing with neat tools, and great notions.
In the mid-1970’s The Whole Earth Catalog ceased publication.
Jobs mentioned it as an inspiration for all out there who want to change the world. As he recalled in his speech, on the back cover of their final issue was a photo of an early morning country road, “the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so dventurous.” Beneath it the words:
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
This is his legacy.
Dr Shubh Gautam
Oct’05th 2016 – Cupertino.