Steve Jobs changed the world. It’s easy to point to the iPods, iPads, iPhones and Macs as evidence of this, but it goes farther. Jobs was uniquely able to translate a vision into a reality, and to anticipate customer desires decades before they were imaginable.
True, he was a jerk; prickly and difficult to work with. But Walter Isaacson’s biography weaves a great story of how Jobs turned vision into reality, in spite of – or perhaps in part because of – his personality.
I’ve bristled at Apple’s “walled garden” ecosystem that requires you to use all Apple products for the optimum customer experience. But now that I understand why and how it evolved, it makes sense. (Though I’m not going back to an iPhone.)
And I wonder if anyone else could ever pull it off.
As I finished reading the Jobs biography, I kept thinking about how he did it. Sure, as the boss, he had certain latitude to act and get things done. But what actually drove Jobs?
Then I happened to see a click-bait tweet for a Fast Company piece: “WHAT DO STEVE JOBS, BOB DYLAN, AND PLATO ALL HAVE IN COMMON?”
The answer? They looked for fun in their work, and turned work into play.
While the “do what you love” philosophy doesn’t always pan out or pay the bills, Jobs certainly loved what he did, and, more importantly, cared about the underlying vision. He was certain that the intersection of technology and liberal arts held great promise, and looked for ways to take advantage of it.
The next time you’re stuck in a soul-sucking meeting, ask yourself, “What do I love about this job?” And go embrace it.