Sunday, October 9, 2011

Love and Loss or From 386 to Freedom

I never met him. Until a few years ago didn't even care that much about him and what he did. I never had been a real computer fan in my life, mainly because I believe that computers are made to assist us, to make life easier and as most of us, at least the ones in my age, probably our first computer has been a Commodore or IBM 386 - basically a typewriter with a screen and since than, an entire series of PC's and their upgrade’s. And they haven’t been a total ease as I expected them to be.

With every PC came a new version of a well known operating system, tons of useless programs that rarely worked properly, thick manuals that you had to read to be able to operate it and best of all - hundred’s of new viruses. This, long before Internet. Every time you stuck one of them floppy disks in you PC, you needed to pray not to get infected. And as long as I recall it, there has never, ever been a proper vaccine to assure your machine's health.

And than, and for no particular reason and full of doubts I bought my first Mac.

My life has never been the same since. Literally. All my life changed. I spent fewer hours in front of the computer because everything became so easy. I rarely get stressed working because I never again worried about viruses, programs that won’t work, system upgrades, you name it.

Yeah, right, I know! Mac is no perfect - but who is? What I know, it was the best acquisition I made in my life. It does everything I need, the way I need it and never, ever gave me a headache... this I cannot say about the other ones I had before.

And than, I found the man and the mind behind all this, and I became his fan.

I want to thank Steve Jobs for dreaming and believing, for loving and for all that he has done for me, though I know that he didn't do anything specifically for "me" but for people like me and that is more than enough. I want to thank him for making my life easier, for giving me more time, for me, my family and friends, for making one part of my work as pleasurable as the others and giving me back the fun I have doing it. I want to thank you for making a difference.

And I'd like to close today by citing one of his many memorable speeches, one that made me admire him even more. Steve Jobs gave this at Stanford University on June 12, 2005.

Love and Loss
I was lucky. I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation - the Macintosh - a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started?

Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me - I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT.

I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple.It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers.

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking.

Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.

Steve Jobs

No comments:

Post a Comment