The first I heard about Steve Jobs was back in the early 80′s. Many people new about him. But he was not a household name as he is today. He is a hero, to me, for certain specific reasons.
It was my brother who told me about his existence way back then. He expressed;
“There is this guy selling desktop computers and is going to conquer the world. And, he is not even 30 years old! “.
My brother was about 9 or 10 years old. He was already programming, anything he could get his hands on. At that age most boys just wanted to know about things like how fast they could ride their bike. My brother’s interest seemed to revolve more around absolute achievement and potential, not just his own. His interest was not just about things but also about the achievements and the potential of people.
The Guinness Book of World Records was a starting point to satisfy his initial craving. But it was Steve Jobs that really grabbed his attention. Job’s potential to achieve seemed endless.
To me, Steve Jobs, is not 1 in a million nor billion he is instead; 1 of millions. That is a pretty bold statement considering how much Job’s achieved. But it is actually part of the perception that he created.
So why is he a hero in my book?
For starters it was his Terminator attitude. “You can’t reason with it, you can’t negotiate with it and it Absolutely will Not Stop!”. Job’s encountered great resistance and setback during his life yet persisted to prevail until his very last breath.
But it was his ability to build perception, belief and trust that touched millions which was particularly apparent to me.
We all have some talent, something that we are good at. We might not even really know what that is but it is there. It is what makes us unique just like everyone else. But some of us also have the unique talent to identify the talent of others. These are the people that can best push forward the talent of others. They liberate the talent of others. Or, in Job’s case, pull and strip it out of you with brute force if needed.
Steve Jobs was someone who did not particularly know much about technology, at least not intrinsically. But part of his talent was that he understood its value and potential very well. An even more important aspect is that he understood what was missing. He also understood the talents of others and how to fill in those missing parts as well as provide a vision, a perception that few could deny. Did not matter how crazy it would be to achieve. He believed it and that by-itself made it near tangible.
Job’s is known for his vision. He is also known for his very specific and obsessive taste. That taste was a starting point. Surrounding himself with a buffet of talent he could taste the various ideas. But the merit of that process seemed less about just crunching ideas. It seemed more of a process about imagining what he is looking for. Finding the answer. A more fundamental answer, a definition, no matter how crazy. It set his direction, his belief. Something that has the potential to build something insanely great. Probably one of his most important quotes was:
“Some things need to be believed to be seen”
Those that discover, use their talent and dare to “Think Different”, are usually confronted with an equal and opposite force that holds them back or pushes them aside. Job’s understood this all too well. And, it served as a fundamental tool to build his perception about himself, his company and its products.
Introducing something new has never been an easy task. It does not matter how apparent the merit of the idea is. The process is what has broken many entrepreneurs and inventors in the past. Job’s not only broke through that but flipped things around. What impresses me most is that Steve Jobs sent ripples and even waves through the cooperate business establishment. He made so many of the people who fell up the cooperate ladder look absolutely silly and in the process revealed the misalignment between their position and their actual competence. He was disgusted by mediocrity and incompetence. Very few people, even in recent history, have been able to achieve success in the way that he did.
Steve Jobs brought true validation to Einsteins quote; “Do things Simple and not much more Simple than that”.
To me, Steve Jobs, represents the talent in all of us and he demonstrates the value of finding it and expressing it.
And, that’s part of the perception that he so masterfully created.
This next video illustrates the significance of building perception.