Yesterday the news, hot off the presses was that Steve Jobs resigned as the CEO of Apple. Today I am sitting here with Dave McInnis, one of my dear friends, discussing the big news. Both of us consider Steve Jobs a personal hero of sorts and an amazing individual. Indeed Steve Jobs entire career and his life has been filled with zigs and zags. That zig zag path is indeed how he reached success.
His first zig came when he was in college. It’s a well-known fact that Steve was adopted. His adoptive parents made a promise to his parents that he would attend a high university. When he got into a high university, his parents simply couldn’t afford it. He ended up dropping out and just sitting in on classes. Indeed, he went to college to learn; although he didn’t actually receive a formal education.
We know he ended up working with Wosniak creating the amazing Apple company. He hit the pinnacle of what was supposed to be success, and then in a very public way, was ousted from the company. He went through a period of time where he really turned inward. During this time he got married, and he also decided to do what he truly loved. He went on to create NeXT, as well as to purchase Pixar (which at the time was a little unknown company.) Amazingly, when Apple later acquired NeXT, Jobs once again became the leader of Apple.
One of my favorite statements that Steve Jobs makes is, “Do what you love in life, life is too short to waste it following other peoples dreams.” I think Steve has been a brilliant example of that statement. The result was a company that now has the highest volume stock in the world. It just overtook Exxon.
The other interesting aspect here is that Steve has had some real personal challenges in his life, causing him to take some unexpected zigs and zags. He overcame pancreatic cancer a while back, and indeed his health hasn’t been very good. One of the fundamental teachings that I espouse is, “You can replace anything you own in life, a job, money, cars, whatever; but you cannot replace your health, you cannot replace your trust relationships, and most importantly you can’t replace your family.”
Another thing I appreciate about Jobs is that he established strong core values from the beginning. He has established a value base, a way, and a culture that is almost a cult. I think that is kind of why David and I align with the guy. It is all about innovation, high quality, simplicity, and elegance. The Apple culture is there and its entrenched enough into people that I think it will carry on.
It will be interesting to see what his life ends up being now. We will continue to watch the Steve Jobs discussion as he continue as chairman of the board. We wish Steve great success and watch for his next zigs and zags in life.