How, in a few words, do you express what Steve Jobs has meant to me, and our agency? Plenty of others know much more about him and have already more eloquently expressed the immeasurable impact he has had on our personal and professional lives.
And maybe that's the opening. Only knowing the basic facts, I'll stick to what I know he has meant to me, and how his legacy will continue to impact me and our agency going forward without him.
Whether consciously or not, Jobs was a disciple of the principle of the Adjacent Possible, expressed by Stuart Kauffman in 2000, which holds that meaningful innovation most often happens by looking at the next or adjacent step, and rarely the revolutionary leap forward.
Jobs freely admitted that he borrowed or stole great ideas from others, and built upon them for his greatest achievements. So perhaps it's no coincidence, or even serendipity, that he named his post-Apple/pre-Apple computer company NeXT, not Revolution. He often said that Apple's real breakthrough came in making the decision that, "We don't make computers. We make tools for creative minds."
What we can all learn and apply from his remarkable story, is that his remarkable achievements came about because he saw creativity as the innately powerful tool that it is. One that can be wielded with equal force in any number of ways, or ventures.
For us mere mortals, this means we need not be daunted or bowed by the spectacular success of Jobs and Apple, but buoyed by the idea of how we can use our own creative passion and energy to look for ways to make everything we do just a little bit better. And then, just a little bit better than that.
So, while none of us is likely to transform an entire generation as Jobs has, we can transform our own vision of what we can reasonably, and proudly, achieve.
We should all be thankful for that.