Friday, October 11, 2013

A little bit of Inspiration: Jobs

Source: Los Angeles Times 

A few weeks ago, after having such a crazy week working Fashion Week (if you had followed me on Instagram you probably already know), I finally decided, with the insistence of my brother, to watch Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview (2012). The minute I finished watching it, I already knew I need it to write about it. And as you know, I also like to write about other topics besides art and fashion.

The film is the whole interview that Robert X. Cringely conducted with Steve Jobs in 1995, a year before Steve Jobs returned to Apple.  The interview was part of a TV series called Triumph of the Nerds, and probably because of timing, it was edited down for the show.  The entire interview is actually about an hour long.

What I liked about Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview is that it captures Jobs in a way that he seemed to be comfortable speaking to the interviewer about his career, how his started with computing, creating great products, and innovating.  It reminded me of  my college days in which I conducted informational interviews during my internships.  You learned so much about people, how interesting their careers and lives are, and how much they are willing to help you by providing advice and point of view of the workplace. But this is a completely different topic that I might cover myself someday in the near future.

Anyways, going back to the interview, there's an excerpt that I actually really love and wanted to share with you, in a conversation format.

Cringely: "How do you know it is the right direction?"


Jobs:  Ultimately , it comes down to taste...It comes down to trying to expose yourself to the best things humans have done and then try to bring those things into what you are doing. Picasso had a saying, 'Good artists copy. Great artists steal.'  I've been shameless about stealing great ideas. I think part of what made the Macintosh great is that the people working on it were musicians, and poets, and artists, and zoologists, and historians who also happen to be the best computer scientists in the world.  But if it hadn't been for Computer Science, these people would have been doing amazing things in life and in other fields, and they all brought with them, we all brought to this effort, a very liberal arts attitude that we wanted to pull in from the best that we saw in these fields into this field. And I don't think you get that if you are very narrow.

What I like about this statement is the fact that everything we learn and everything we know, when it is put together, results in us creating great things.  Like he said, it is all these great things that we already have and that have been created before that lead to an amazing and innovative product like the Macintosh because it borrowed characteristics and aesthetics from humanities, the arts, literature and other important areas that are beneficial to the development of human knowledge. It brought me back to my days of being a college student, where I started to realize as I took more and more classes, that everything is interrelated.  Another thing I like about this statement is that people from so many different backgrounds got the chance to work on the Macintosh, a product that opened and built the market for the Personal Computer.  Therefore, that is how great products are made, when diverse points of view contribute to their creation and execution. And that applies to almost everything humanity is capable of doing.

Wherever you might be today,  I hope that these words can give you a little bit of inspiration to expand your imagination, and who knows, maybe start on your own creation, whether it is a work of art or a product that will change our lives or an initiative to improve an issue in our society.

For now, until next time on A+F by AM.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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