I've been working on this post for days now. I actually began writing it when the announcement was made heralding the arrival of the iPhone 4Gs. Sadly, that news was quickly shadowed with the passing of Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs: talk about an amazing man. Suddenly my post seemed trite and completely inappropriate however; I am completely inappropriate so - I'm running with it. I am an incredibly loyal apple customer. As I type on my MacBook Pro my iPhone 4Gs sits on the pillow next to me - my iPod classic is playing in my Bose dock (my iPod nano is in my purse - along with my old iPhone 3G). While the previous sentence may have very clearly illustrated the fact that I'm a consumer whore it is none the less a testament to the fact that apple makes a quality product that people enjoy using.
I grew up in the Mac generation. My elementary school had a computer lab filled with the Macintosh Classic. I played on them for hours after school - claris works, Where in the World Is Carmen San Diego?, Oregon Trail, Kid Pix (that one was my fav). When I was in 6th grade my Mom bought a computer for the house - a big bulky desktop - I think it was the Macintosh II. I remember my Mom getting issued an ibook at work - it was a gorgeous clamshell design - that was colorful - blueberry!
What's my point? I literally grew up with Apple. As Apple was getting an education in the needs of their consumers - I was getting an education in the way of the world. We learned what works and what doesn't, we learned what people like and what they don't, we learned that change is constant, and we learned that we're far more successful when we trust. Trust in anything - whether it be an idea, a person or ourselves.
I have been looking forward to the release of the iPhone 4Gs for quite some time - I've been trusting that Apple would work out the kinks they experienced with the 4G. The 4Gs is amazing. The newest bit of coolness? Siri! It is a voice recognizing talking assistant. I can pick up my phone and say 'Do I need my umbrella today?' - Siri will provide me a weather forecast for my location. You can actually train Siri - you can teach it when you leave work and schedule reminders around such times. My favorite part is that you can dictate text for emails or texting. Lovely.
I find the 4Gs to be incredibly impressive - which is why I was dismayed that it didn't get rave reviews. People wanted more. They thought it was too similar to the the 4G. A voice recognizing talking assistant that you can train isn't good enough for you?! What more do you want?! This is your phone - not your super computer!
I'll tell you what, Steve Jobs (like myself) knew that the iPhone 4Gs is badass. He didn't wonder if he could have done more - he didn't wonder if they should have changed the design - he knew that he took a quality product (the iPhone 4G) and made it better. For the record, adding Siri is waaay more than making it better....it's going to change everything.
I stumbled across the commencement speech given by Steve Jobs at Stanford in 2005. During the speech he said:
"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."
I don't think more valuable advice could be given to recent graduates. Listening to my inner voice and trusting my intuition has been the greatest contributor to my successes in life - when I crash and burn I almost always wish that I had done what I knew I should have done. I truly believe that Steve Jobs success is directly related to the faith he had in his intuition. He knew what he knew - and he trusted it.
I recently read a short piece by John Gruber. Gruber was wondering why Jobs would deliver an address with grass stained shoes in hindsight he realized that Jobs was using his time and that the grass stains equalled time well spent. I hope that in my own life I can cut through the bull shit with the same dexterity that Jobs was able to. Grass stains - they just don't matter. People not being impressed by Siri - who cares - they'll still buy the freakin' phone!
There is a quote from Jobs 2005 commencement speech floating around quite a bit where he speaks of death being Life's change agent. Jobs' brush with death allowed him a daily change agent. Allowing him to wake up and assess on a daily basis if change was needed.
So today, I'm going to follow Steve Jobs advice. I'm going to live life to the fullest. I'm going to enjoy my coffee - I'm going to enjoy my iPhone 4Gs and text with Siri - I'm going to take some photos of fall foliage and I'm going to read a good book.
What are you going to do today?
*Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish*