"Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.
Maybe they have to be crazy.
How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that's never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
We make tools for these kinds of people.
While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."
Who would have guessed that one of the most inspirational, aspirational statements, one I've often quoted, and more often pondered, would have come from an advertisement?
Back in 1997, Steve Jobs was finally back at the helm of Apple after a 12-year, unplanned and unwanted absence from the company he and his friend Steve Wozniak had started back in 1976. A period of intense personal and professional growth came during that hiatus. He started the NeXT computer company and joined with other brilliant minds who found Pixar, the groundbreaking film company.
Jobs kicked off his second phase of life with Apple with the "Think Different" campaign, featuring the manifesto quoted above. The campaign, and its theme - "Think Different" were as much about Jobs as it was about his company.
The innovations he brought to the public have revolutionized the way we interact with technology. He made technology cool, and beautiful, and easy.
Do you remember where you were when you first heard about a little music machine called the iPod? Probably not, but that innovation has completely changed the way we purchase and listen to music.
I'm a music fan. But I haven't bought a new cd in over five years. In that same period, however, I have been exposed to far more musical offerings, from a wide array of genres, through the iTunes store. My iTunes library runneth over, I'm afraid. And, musicians are rewarded for my business -- after all, iTunes slammed the brakes on the illegal, but widespread internet music theft going on before its founding.
When Apple came out with the iMac, it changed personal computers forever. He merged art and technology, making products that were not only ground-breaking, but beautiful. The iMac, when it was introduced, was like nothing we'd seen before, all smooth curves and bright colors. The iPhone took away the buttons, replacing them with a smooth touch screen. You couldn't help yourself when a new Apple innovation came out - you just HAD to touch it, interact with it, own it.
I admit, I don't get a lot of work done on my iPad, purchased a couple of months ago, but I can't imagine how I got along without it. It is tossed in my purse on trips - the Kindle app allowing me to catch up on my reading in-flight, Netflix streams episodes of favorite comedies I missed, and Angry Birds keeps me entertained.
It sits on my kitchen counter, a new recipe from a favorite cooking site encouraging me to stretch my culinary vistas. And, when the heating element burned out on my oven this weekend, after many years of loyal service, I was online pronto, letting my fingers do the walking to "Parts- oven - heating elements" and ordering a new one.
Jobs changed the way we think about technology, how we live with it, what it means to us.
Before his death, he created a four-year plan for Apple, laying out a roadmap for the future. Four years, that's all. But, even that seems to go along with Jobs' "think different" philosophy. In a speech which has been much-quoted since his death, he gives us insight into his thoughts on what may lie ahead for Apple. It will be a company with his soul, but someone else's ideas. And, that seemed to be OK with him.
"Death is very likely the single best invention of life. It's life's change agent; it clears out the old to make way for the new."