Monday, 10 October 2011

This Is What The Fuss Is Really About

Since October 5th all I seem to hear and see everywhere is Steve Jobs. He keeps cropping up in the news, blogs (!) and internet forums. All I knew about him was he had something to do with Apple and he died. What was all the fuss about? I didn’t understand why his death seemed almost as newsworthy as Princess Di’s.

Last night while waiting for the man to watch the Grand Prix so I could catch up on X Factor, I was aimlessly surfing, and again Steve Jobs kept cropping up. He must have been someone pretty important. Clearly I should know more about him.

Steve Jobs was adopted into a working class family and had a fairly normal upbringing. He dropped out of University after one semester, fearing that he was draining his family’s finances, returning Coke bottles to make up his food money and eating at a local charity food scheme.

From these humble beginnings, Jobs carved out a hugely influential and successful career in the computer industry, founding Apple with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, then being fired and branching out into graphics, by purchasing Pixar which went on to create highly successful animated films with Disney.

Jobs then returned to Apple after his computer company NeXT was bought by Apple. They went on to create the iPod, iPhone and iPad. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Regardless of whether or not Jobs invented these products (or whether it was some faceless employee of Apple) no one can deny the impact Steve Jobs had on our daily life. I don’t use Apple products, but you can’t exactly miss them. That’s pretty impressive for a company created in his parents garage.

But I don’t think it’s so much the creation of these (some might say life changing) products that has made the life of Steve Jobs such a newsworthy story. The truth is, he is the perfect example of someone who just wouldn’t give up. He had a dream, a pretty big one, and he didn’t let hiccoughs along the way stop him from getting things done. For me, a self confessed self help addict, who has read countless books about how success is a state of mind, it’s more about how you think than what you do, Steve Jobs is the perfect antithesis of all that. Yes he dreamed, yes he thought, but he didn’t let that thinking get in the way of actually doing.

So many of us say we can’t do this until we have got that, waiting for that moment in the future when everything falls into place and we can start doing things. We think that one day we will be thin, be rich, have a qualification, have more time, but what if we never do? What a waste of a life sitting around waiting to be happy. Steve Jobs didn’t let a lack of qualifications or money stop him from founding Apple, he just got on with it. I firmly believe that most of the things that we’re waiting for are probably just excuses for being too scared or not believing in ourselves.

Too many of us worry about what people think of us, what people might say. Steve Jobs did not listen to people who thought he couldn’t do it. Even when he was fired from the very company he created. He just quietly went about proving them wrong. He didn’t listen when people said the world had PC’s they didn’t need another computer system. He had the courage to believe he knew what people needed and wanted before they knew themselves. He fully and unquestionably believed in himself, and this to me, is what makes him so inspiring.

Steve Jobs isn’t the only influential entrepreneur to die at a young age, or the only successful person to come from an unspectacular background, but he was a pretty fascinating person who leaves behind a very inspiring legacy.

From someone who I had barely heard of, to someone who has impacted my thinking, and my doing, in less than a week. Fair play to you, Steve Jobs.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Speech 2005


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  2. Now THIS is the quote that shall grace my fridge door! x

  3. LOL, yep it is a fridge door quote if ever there was one! xxx