During tributes of Steve Jobs running throughout the night, I saw a few clips from a commencement speech he gave in 2005. I looked up the speech on YouTube and found it strongly resonates with my views:
With starting as a Microsoft user, I hadn’t pay much attention to Steve Jobs. That changed as he resurrected Apple from near bankruptcy to the largest company in the world… (how is that even achievable???)
His journey amazes me: He was fired from Apple, a company he founded, because the board of directors saw him as too young and unorthodox to be an exec. After a few months feeling betrayed and disheartened, he invested his fortune into two companies. Over the next several years, those companies floundered and drained him of nearly his entire wealth. He stuck with it. Eventually, those two non-starter companies found their stride. Those companies were Pixar and NeXT. Pixar was eventually bought by Disney for billions, making Steve a billionaire and the largest shareholder of Disney. NeXT was a revolutionary computer/programming company that ended up being bought by Apple. Through this acquisition, Steve eventually became CEO of Apple once again. He consolidated power (didn’t want to worry about his job) so he could command without distraction. Finally he lead Apple through his road map with focus and precision and snowballed the momentum of each success into the next… Setting an example of deliberate, effective, and efficient marketing and productization.
This is a powerful story of pursuing dreams, persistence, execution, and follow-through. Few people get the opportunity to vindicate themselves; he clearly took his opportunity to “Infinity and Beyond”! (I couldn’t help but use that Pixar reference)