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Friday, October 7, 2011

All The Same Only Different

When I look at the ubiquitous Bic pen, I am reminded of what it represents.  Literally millions and millions of these pens have been manufactured and distributed around the world.  So simple and all absolutely identical yet each one is so unique.  Why? It is unique because of who uses it.  It can write a poem, a story, sign a check, scribble an epithet, doodle odd shapes, articulate a profound truth or initiate horrible lies.  Man is alone among the species of the earth in his ability to use tools to realize his thoughts.

This week we lost one of mankind's greatest visionaries, Steve Jobs.  Few people have had as much or more impact on the world.  His products are used all over the world every day by hundreds of millions of people.  Steve Jobs epitomized the human ability to look at the world and imagine what could be done with the tools and information available.  He didn't design the Apple operating system.  It was developed and rejected by Xerox.  He didn't invent computer graphics, but he used them to animate stories in a way that was not done before.  Pixar became the gold standard of computer animation.  He didn't invent the personal music player.  Remember the Walkman? Does anyone use one of these devices today?  He didn't invent the mobile phone, but he led his team to produce the mobile phone by which all others are measured.  To me, Steve Jobs legacy is the expression of himself and his vision through his application of technology.

How will we use the tools that are available to us in our profession? What will we create with them?  How do we make peoples lives better?  What will our legacy be?

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