About 5 years ago, as I was ambling aimlessly in Bangalore Forum mall, while waiting to catch a movie, my eyes fell on a very unique Mac store. I decided that it would not be a bad place to kill some time. The store turned out to be unlike any other and I almost ended up buying a Mac. Well, after 10 more subsequent visits, I eventually succumbed to the temptation. Rest of the story would not be a tough guess: I am a Mac convert in every sense of the word and every Mac Product kindles my curiosity immensely. And that includes: STEVE JOBS!
Well, I am not here to tell you how great an entrepreneur he was or how he created black magic to sell White Macs like a master showman. You probably already know that. But I intend to highlight a few aspects of his life that played a key role in the making of the man he was! I feel his life story is particularly intriguing in the sense that his attitude combined with his vision and instinct give us an incisive insight and perspective into the life of a dreamer!
The story of his life was all about: “Connecting the Dots”. It is indeed a very profound thought but more importantly an extremely difficult exercise. Reason being (in his own words): it is almost impossible to connect the dots going forward; you can only do it when you are looking back! Here is a peek at some of the events (some well known and others not so much) in his life, and while looking back how some of those events transform into dots that all connect perfectly to script his story.
Event: Jobs dropped out of college in just 6 months; it was expensive; he did not see a value in it as he did not know what he wanted to do in life.
Dot: He continued to be on campus for the next 18 months and dropped in on classes that interested him.
Event: He didn’t have a dorm, slept on the floor in his friends’ rooms.
Event: He returned coke bottles with 5 cent deposit to buy food with.
Event: Every Sunday he walked 7 miles to get a free meal at the Hare Krishna temple.
Dot: He dropped in on calligraphy classes which fascinated him and learned Serif and Sans Serif type faces.
Dot: He took up a temporary job in Atari to go on a voyage to
; experimented on psychedelics and came back enlightened. India
The Connect: He started Apple along with Steve Wozniac and they eventually designed the Macintosh with ground breaking GUI with multiple type faces on proportionately spaced fonts.
Event: The revolutionary Mac not withstanding, he had some turbulent years and eventually got fired from Apple.
Dot: He was still in love with what he did. The heaviness of success was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again! He started NeXT, a computer platform company.
Event: He also started Pixar which later went on to make “Toy Story” and is the most successful animation studio right now.
The Connect: Apple bought NeXT and Jobs was at the helm again. NeXT technology was at the heart of Mac.
Dot: He backed his instincts. In a time when customer need and satisfaction were the mantra of corporations, he shunned customer surveys and focus groups stating that one had to show customers what they want!
The Connect: Apple gave the world the iPod, iPhone and iPad!
As you can see, it is absolutely unfathomable to plan a success story and almost impossible to even hope that the dots would somehow connect. But then, there lies a life lesson for all dreamers out there. We should have the courage to follow our heart and intuition. We may or may not revolutionize the world; the dots may or may not connect; but we would still look back at a very fulfilling life and cherish the fact that we found what we really loved and dedicated our life time to it!