“Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.” – Steve Jobs
I’m going to talk about love. I know for some, this will be a completely ridiculous post. I warn you that it’s idealistic, thick with accolade and short on criticism. Of course, love isn’t always sunshine and unicorns; the expression of love can be completely messed up and dysfunctional, but when it can be expressed purely, it is a profoundly transformative force. Love has changed the course of world events (see Edward VIII). If you believe that the bond of love is the strongest bond there is, imagine the energy created when one does what one loves. Then imagine when it is stoked and magnified by others coming together in sharing that pursuit. Now imagine it as a company. Maybe call it Apple Computers. Or maybe call it Pixar. Or maybe drop the “Computers” and just call it Apple.
Richard Branson, business titan and Steve Jobs admirer, wrote:
I’ve never been interested in being ‘in business’. I’ve been interested in creating things … Business is creative. It’s like painting. You start with a blank canvas. You can paint anything – anything – right there, is your first problem. For every good painting you might turn out, there are a zillion bad paintings just aching to drip off your brush. Scared? You should be. You start. You pick a color. The next color you pick has to work with the first color … People who succeed in business have swallowed their fear and have set out to create something special, something to make a difference to people’s lives …
Steve Jobs was a creative soul who used business as his creative medium and love as his fuel to make a difference to people’s lives. He encouraged us to do what we love. And what did Steve Jobs want to do? Steve Jobs wanted to make great things that would “make a dent in the universe.”
People love Apple products because they can be seen as a reflection of the power of people in pursuit of creating the best tools; tools that allow others to better do what *they* love. All of this effort and creative force of will processed through the prismatic mind of one Steve Jobs.
Maybe he was a jerk sometimes, but a lifelong, singleminded pursuit of ongoing creative vision can do that to people. It happens often. Historically, the pursuit of marching to one’s own drummer can often require sharp elbows in wider society. They’re imperfect souls, these creative visionaries. They don’t worry about giving society what we want, they give us what we need. The lucky ones live long enough to see society’s acceptance. Steve Jobs was one of the lucky ones. He not only saw society’s acceptance, he saw its standing ovation, then ultimately a full on arena roar. Steve Jobs was a rock star.
First, Apple created tools for the creators. Then, the world got to see what these tools could create. And then, Apple gave tools to the rest of us, we who no longer needed to understand the technology in order to use a technological tool. We turned on an Apple product and it just worked. Made with love, given with love, created with the highest aspiration that this tool will allow us to do what we love, be that creating digital art on a macbook pro or making movies at Pixar or creating music on an iPad or putting your entire music collection in your pocket or allowing you to hold a loved one’s face in your hands as you see and talk with them on your iPhone. Tools created by thousands, used by millions and given to us by one Steve Jobs.
The quotes of the wise reverberate through history, and so many of those reverberations carry the message of the importance of love and the importance of doing what one loves. Steve Jobs took that advice to heart and excelled in the expression of that message in ways few others do. In doing what he loved, Steve Jobs used Apple to create infinite opportunities for us to do the same.
Shine on, Steve Jobs.