Thursday, October 6, 2011

"Stay hungry...stay foolish" - Steve Jobs

“…stay hungry…stay foolish” – Steve Jobs
2005 Stanford Commencement Speech...he made 'em better

We lost a great one yesterday.  We lost a visionary, a genius, and a leader that flat out made us all better.  Steve Jobs passed away yesterday at the age of 56, from pancreatic cancer.  If this ever makes its way to his family or folks that work for or are associated with Apple or Pixar…I’m truly sorry for your loss.

Steve Jobs, in his journey from childhood to the CEO and founder of what have turned out to be two of the most successful and valuable companies in the history of the world, simply made things better

He not only made people around him better, he made technology better.  A modern day Edison, Einstein, and Franklin, his innovative ideas and game changing inventions have changed the world.  The i-pad, i-pod, i-phone, and the Mac suite of products have made personal computing easier, more fun, more engaging, more dynamic…they’ve simply made everything better. 

Sure we’re not all geniuses like Steve Jobs.  You and I may not be able to do things like drop out of college, create a new computer system in our parents’ garage, found a tech company, get fired from a tech company, buy a couple different companies only to be hired back by said company that fired us, and not only make them better…but make them the best, the most valuable company in the world…

But can we make things better?  Sure we can.  It’s a choice.  We can all make the choice to enter each day with the goal of making people around us better…we can actively seek out ways to make our organizations and teams better…we can wake up each morning and proactively work on the relationships in our lives to make them better…if we choose to do so. 

What does Steve Job’s legacy mean to me?  He made things better, for all of us.  Sure he was a driven, achievement oriented individual, but could he have created all of the game changing products by only focusing on himself?  I don’t think so.  I truly believe that he had to envision a guy like me sitting on the couch one day surfing the net…people like you and I who are on the move day to day and how much we would value pulling up a weather app, a video game app, or our i-tunes as we jump on a plane, ride in a subway, or as we walk through the mall.  He created things for people to make their lives easier and solve problems for us before we even knew we had them.  He made things better.

Steve Jobs made technology better.  He made animation better.  He made people better because down the stretch after being diagnosed with cancer, he lived each day as if it were his last.  He ended a 2005 Stanford University commencement speech with, “…stay hungry…stay foolish…”

So as we reflect on Steve Jobs’ life, accomplishments, and contributions…let’s take his advice.  Stay hungry…stay foolish.  Go after your dreams with reckless abandon, live each day like it’s your last, and whenever possible – aim to make things better…make people around you better…make your relationships better...and pretty soon those with whom you come into contact will walk away, remembering you as someone who truly made an impact and made things better.

Rest in peace, Steve Jobs…thanks for making things better. 

Let’s go OneMoreStep today, and make someone or something better…

Have a great day.


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