From Stanford University — June 12, 2005:
“Commencement Address” by Steve Jobs
You can never read this one too many times. With the release of the iPad2 this week — yep, I’m getting me mine, a b-day gift from my incredible wife, as soon as they are back in stock my gift card gets redeemed — I came back for another re-read of Steve’s masterpiece.
Here’s the part that sticks with me, following the theme of my Peter Schneider post from a few days ago where he talks about Krakauer and just how the wheels are usually chewed off the wagon in little bits, not a big bite:
“… 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.”
This is the inverse of Krakauer, which illustrates how a big bang goes bust with a boatload of paper cuts we don’t even feel. In Jobs’ application, it’s the good that happens when you don’t even know that you are building to it. The true irony is, with each setback comes opportunity, and with each adverse circumstance, an opportunity for triumph awaits. This is not rhetoric, it is the reality of creative destruction. The new grows of necessity, because in the negative there is learning, and in learning there is reward.
Do what you love, reinvent frequently, don’t get comfortable, don’t take yourself overly seriously. That’s where iPads come from. Great friendships, too. And all the memories that make our time together unique, valued, magical. That time is brief, but our potential unlimited.
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