Monday, October 10, 2011

Contrarian Thoughts About Steve Jobs

Like most people who use technology, I keep thinking about Steve Jobs.

Partly because I didn't want Jobs to be dead, I watched his Stanford commencement address, in which he talked about how to live before you die -- and about death. Most people are posting quotes from the speech  -- death clears the way for the living, pursuing your passion, connecting the dots and not listening to what other tell you to do.

It's all great stuff, except that last piece of advice, which keeps bugging me. Steve said not to listen to others' advice because then you live their lives, not your own. Steve Jobs was one of the few people who could actually get away with living and working that way. He got away with it because he was so creative, so intelligent and had such amazing vision. He never listened to the public. He created things and told the public what they wanted. Millions are living with Jobs's visions - living the way he thought they should, using his devices to alter their day-to-day lives. How ironic.

I simply do not believe that you should not listen to advice. Advice my mom and dad, various bosses, some colleagues, my husband, my kids and many educators have given me over my life I believe have made me a better person and have enabled me to live a richer and more successful life. And I believe that some of the advice I've imparted to others has enriched them, too.

I guess you can tell that I'm a bit of a contrarian and that I've never been an Apple evangelist. But I still believe that Steve Jobs was an amazing person who truly changed the world. And I will miss him and am truly sorry he died so young.

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