Sunday, October 30, 2011

Weekender: Social Mashup

Take the relationships you're building online and develop them offline. Met an insightful contact via social media that you'd like to put heads together with on a project? Invite them out to a cup of coffee! Found a group of folks that love Hershey Bears hockey as much as you do? Meet up in betwixt periods and compare notes on the puck play and player fights! That's one of the small beauties of the Interweb, you can Mashup online and offline relationships, maximizing and leveraging the network of connections you're amassing. Don't be afraid to be social in person, not just online.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Reflection on Jobs

Yesterday evening the world caught its collective breath as we heard word of the untimely passing of Steve Jobs. Mr. Jobs and his business partner Steven Wozniak are undoubtedly two of this era's greatest visionaries in the technology sphere, bringing us Apple Computers in a garage in 1976.

Jobs' life drew to a close as he lost the 8-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He is by no means a saint, but he was a technology revolutionary. Not only did Apple change the realm of personal computing, but the company introduced us to the concept of the smartphone with the debut of the first iPhone in 2007.

Through the early years, his departure from Apple, and eventually his return to Apple in 1997, Jobs never lost his sense of curiosity, exploration and pushing the envelope. It is under his leadership that innovation thrived at Apple and Pixar. He was a genius that looked to hire like-minded individuals and encouraged his teams to never lose their sense of adventure.

He left us with a series of undeniable leadership and life lessons:
  • The most enduring innovations marry art and science.
  • To create the future, you can't do it through focus groups.
  • Never fear failure.
  • You cannot connect the dots forward - only backward.
  • Listen to the voice in the back of your head that tells you if you're on the right track or not.
  • Expect a lot from yourself and others.
  • Surround yourself with the most talented people.
  • Stay hungry, stay foolish.
  • Anything is possible through hard work, determination and a sense of vision.
I am admittedly one of the millions whom have had their personal and professional habits influenced by the innovation spurred by Jobs and the Apple developers. I travel daily with my iPhone and iPad close at hand for calls, emails, appointment keeping, social networking and more. The music heard in my Volkswagen is fueled by the playlists on my iPod touch. I run countless miles with an iPod shuffle clipped to my person.

If I might close with a quote from the 2005 commencement address that Steve Jobs gave at Stanford University:

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever
encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost
everything - all external exceptions, all pride, all fear of embarrassment
or failure- these things fall away in the face of death, leaving only what
is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are
already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart...Stay hungry.
Stay foolish.

While the world has lost a visionary, we've not lost his legacy.