“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” Steve Jobs, Stanford University Commencement 2005
I think all of us have a moment in life when something that’s said really resonates with us. Maybe I’m abnormal but I know that I’ve had several. Mr. Jobs statement above resonated with me because it fit in quite neatly with what my own philosophy of life and learning SHOULD be. I have been in classroom settings where we used plans and profiles to try to predict student success and even behavior. I have been told in career centers that if you do this or follow this path, this will work for you because your Myers Briggs test says that this is your personality. I have been through quite a few situations where some ONE, or some THING, tried to predict a path based on some THEORY. Of course, I’m not poo poo-ing theory or paths. I’m just reflecting on the fact that nothing is perfect and that none of us fits neatly inside of any specific package.
Yes, we are all different, we think differently, we act differently. While some people interpreted the mission of Jobs/Apple to get us all to use one product and one ecosystem, much the opposite is true. I read an article recently where it was said that Jobs mantra was to “sell dreams, not products” (read number 7) Instead of trying to get you to use a specific product, the idea was that you was use a product to fit you or to simply enable you to accomplish things how you would want them to be accomplish. Of course, Steve contradicted this a bit when he told us that we were holding the iPhone 4 wrong :-). Nevertheless, most of us search for simplicity, things that just work and work how we want them to. That’s where Jobs was able to capture our imagination and our needs. As a person who HATED ClarisWorks and the old Apple software, its definitely an accomplishment to have brought me to a point where I’m writing this post on an iMac, editing on an iPad using the Blogsy app, and getting ready to trade my Evo in for a 4S.
We will have detractors and those who speak against him and what he did. But, I can already look ahead and see the high school history books of my now 3 year old listing Steve Jobs as one of the greatest innovators of our time. We won’t have to even wait that long I suppose. Yes, we have had other great people that have contributed to our lives, but as a techie, an eLearning developer, a training company owner and as one who simply appreciates genius, I just wanted to take a moment to recognize the effect of Steve Jobs on how I live day to day.
How has this man affected your life?
–Robert Kennedy, RKCS Learning Solutions–