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Posts tagged Steve Jobs

Oct 8

Oct 6


Revisit Malcolm Gladwell’s piece on the story behind one of Apple’s earliest innovations: the computer mouse.

In late 1979, a twenty-four-year-old entrepreneur paid a visit to a research center in Silicon Valley called Xerox PARC. He was the co-founder of a small computer startup down the road, in Cupertino. His name was Steve Jobs…

How do I say this, for serendipity is not the right word, nor is providence… “Jobs” are very much on our minds right now for so many reasons connected to the visionary thinking required of us. We need more vision with the economy, with politics, with personal contentment, and as the genius of Steve Jobs has inspired, with understanding our individual capacity for greatness. Everyone can follow up on their ideas and work through them.

I’ve only been a “mac person” for about three years now, for I learned computing on a pc using windows. But I’ve long understood how Jobs and Apple have influenced me. What Jobs and his team had championed, was that thought of greater possibility, and the imagination we can all bring to whatever work we do.

The story The New Yorker link points to above is a longer read, but it was a good one for me this morning, in bringing all my thoughts back to the pragmatic (and brave) ways that work gets done. And Malcolm Gladwell writes so very well…

As with all legends, however, the truth is a bit more complicated… If you lined up Engelbart’s mouse, Xerox’s mouse, and Apple’s mouse, you would not see the serial reproduction of an object. You would see the evolution of a concept.

I hope you carve out some quiet time to read through it too. The title Gladwell chose for what he wrote, was "Creation Myth: Xerox PARC, Apple, and the truth about innovation" submitted for the magazine’s Annals Of Business.


The psychologist Dean Simonton argues that this fecundity is often at the heart of what distinguishes the truly gifted. The difference between Bach and his forgotten peers isn’t necessarily that he had a better ratio of hits to misses. The difference is that the mediocre might have a dozen ideas, while Bach, in his lifetime, created more than a thousand full-fledged musical compositions. A genius is a genius, Simonton maintains, because he can put together such a staggering number of insights, ideas, theories, random observations, and unexpected connections that he almost inevitably ends up with something great. “Quality,” Simonton writes, is “a probabilistic function of quantity.”

Simonton’s point is that there is nothing neat and efficient about creativity. “The more successes there are,” he says, “the more failures there are as well”—meaning that the person who had far more ideas than the rest of us will have far more bad ideas than the rest of us, too. This is why managing the creative process is so difficult.

Never minimize the merit of your own ideas; Follow through with the merit of good work.

Our big ideas don’t have to change the world.
They just have to move it along.
Expect more from your own energies.
Kēia lā ~ What Your Big Ideas Do Best