This post appears simultaneously in my LinkedIn Blog, which you can find here.
“Our country is such a beautiful, beautiful experiment. We manifest, we allow freedom, if you follow certain rules and if you work really hard. That’s at the root of our cherished values.”
— Laurene Powell Jobs, 2013
“Life can be much broader, once you discover one simple fact, and that is that everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”
— Steve Jobs, 1995
The Third Anniversary:
Yesterday marked the 3rd anniversary of the untimely passing of Steve Jobs, one of the premier visionaries, innovators, and entrepreneurs of the 20th century. Much has been written about him; especially about his legacy. From this post about his commemoration stamp due out in 2015, to this list of trivia, from this reflective memo Tim Cook sent out to Apple employees about him, to these 7 things about him, from this nostalgic post about him, as well as this one, it is clear that Steve Jobs has become a wide spread cultural touchstone and phenomenon.
It is clear that many of us are still actively remembering Steve Jobs and his contributions to the world of Mac, and the world in general. He disrupted the tech industry, making mobile technology part of play time, not just work time. He reinvented the sales funnel and its proverbial tango with clients, leaving a great blueprint for others to follow; especially in entrepreneurship. He built an ecosystem before it was cool, and before it became the buzzword of the year on the tongue tips of social entrepreneurs and social media aficionados.
He showed us what it means to consider both the artistry and architecture of every endeavor and invention; something Apple University teaches employees until this day, something we need to remember in innovation and in life, and something I’ve previously written about in my Tumblr blog re: one’s digital footprint in November and December of 2013.
Steve Jobs remains the ultimate creative entrepreneur with a self sustaining legacy. One whose life, brand, immortal speeches, legendary quotes, and charismatic leadership all taught us all valuable lessons and provided us with profound food for thought. Lessons on the importance of the ongoing pursuit of better work/life balance, having a regular digital “detox”, the meaning of success, and tips on productivity, negotiation, marketing, and educational access for all children, including those with Autism and special needs.
My Origin Story:
That’s where I first “boarded the train”. I grew up with the first Macs (thanks to my educator and techie mother!) and was riveted by this famous 1997 commercial narrated by Jobs himself, “Here’s to the Crazy Ones”. I remember being proud to be counted amongst the group of mavericks and misfits who intuitively understood we were making history. From 1995-2000, I was part of a small group of newly minted speech therapists who were hired indirectly by Apple and the Westchester Institute of Human Development to implement The NY TRAID Project. It was a special education technology initiative where I trained and educated a variety of school-based professionals on how to integrate Mac technology into specialized curricula for children with Autism/special needs. It was a precursor to the Apple Distinguished Educators Program, and it started me on my professional odyssey.
It started me on the road to becoming a public and quite vocal Mac Evangelist and a later iPad Evangelist; especially as an Autism specialist and startup founder. One who advocates for balancing humanity and technology in entrepreneurship and special education. One who particularly advocates for the seamless integration of toys and tech in treatment of Autism.
My Message to Other Women Entrepreneurs:
My unique Theory of Mind and professional background have given me a singular perspective. One which allows me to think different and approach the startup arena differently. One which gives me a different outlook about female entrepreneurship in the post- Steve Jobs era we live in, which I call the iEra. We women founders can learn much from Steve Jobs and how to bridge our own ecosystem with others. We can learn to better harness our innate talents and the fact that we are hardwired to consider the communal impact of our actions for the greater good. We can learn to foster more women leadership in others by:
Tim Cook has publicly remarked that the greatest teachings of Steve Jobs stem from his ongoing belief that one must continuously look forward, to create and then sustain both products/services and a culture of excellence. Jobs “walked the walk” and Apple has been trying hard to “talk the talk”. In this age of instant gratification, cynicism, and transparency, it behooves us all to take these ideas to heart and begin crafting our own self-sustaining legacy with our own individual contributions. As Jobs said:
“Your time is limited. Don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”