Apple, a company which until a several years ago was nothing more than an alternative to the Microsoft powered computer, is now one of the world’s most valued and performing companies. It wasn’t, however, Apple’s amazing technology or advancement that allowed it to become the empire it is today. It was rather Steve Jobs’ vision which started in his garage over 20 years ago. There have been countless articles written on Apple and Steve Jobs by just about every major publication and news magazines, but it wasn’t until Steve Jobs recent passing that the world took a minute to revisit what made the man into such an amazing visionary, inventor, and business man.
You might expect this article to cover more of Steve Jobs’ legacy and his amazing accomplishments but we simply are not going to go there as many other publications have already done a great job honoring his work, dedication, and vision and duplicating that simply wouldn’t change your way of thinking.
Instead today we are going to analyze how one man found his purpose and despite the road block he faced, he still pulled through and “re-invented” himself to be a fit to his own vision.
We discussed finding your purpose in STAY POOR and even went through bringing a vision to life in ART-E but the idea of discussion is about legacy and what its worth to you. It is often true that many chase money and despite understanding that chasing money simply won’t take you anywhere you want to be in the long run, it still remains the main driving factor of many. Think of today as a changing day, think of today as a day you wake up and do not ask yourself “How can I make more money?” but instead put that thought out of your mind entirely and instead ask yourself:
“If I died today, what would I be remembered for?”
Take a real minute and ask yourself that question and as you answer it, envision your funeral and who would be there but more importantly envision the words of those there and if each of them had to speak, what would they say? It is sometimes necessary to take such a drastic approach to perhaps self realize if we are indeed on track to making the impact we seek in society, and despite being somewhat of a dark thought, it is one that might shed a light on your own life from a perspective you had yet to see.
In most cases, the answer to your question will be somewhat disappointing. For many, it is a wake up call of how self-centered and insignificant they are to society. For others, it is a game changer that puts them in control of their life and encourages immediate change on their part. For Steve Jobs, it meant understanding his failures and “re-inventing” himself to be aligned to his vision, rather than his business. As you may have heard from his commencement speech in 2006 at Stanford University, Steve Jobs had started Apple in his garage as a computer company, and it wasn’t too long after that he found himself terminated from the company that he had started. His original vision was simply not good enough at the time to persuade board members to retain him, rather than terminate him. Despite the devastation a man goes through during such hard times, he found the ability to pick himself up and realize where his personal growth lacked and how he could continue be the man he once thought possible. By not quitting and pushing himself harder, he created Pixar going from an inventor to an innovator which then led him to get back into his role at Apple during a merger. It wasn’t until innovation met invention and arrogance turned to self realization that Steve Jobs was able to see where Apple was heading and what his role was going to be going forward.
It is sometimes OK to not know what the final picture looks like or when the final attempt is going to take place but it is not OK to be stagnant and not move forward. It wasn’t until years after the first computer was born that Apples’ true core brand came out and “design” based model came to life. Someone had to invent, create and launch a computer before a vision could exist. Actions lead to reactions and businesses lead to empires.
So if you remember one thing and one thing only from the passing of the greatest CEO there ever was: When was the last time a CEO was missed so much by so many people he never knew and when was the last time you honored a person everyday by simply turning on a computer? On this note, I ask you again:
What will you be remembered for?
Enjoy this final video highlighting one of Steve Jobs’ best speeches about his failures and learnings.