Jobs To Be Done

Kara Swisher has a great appeal for sanity around the Steve Jobs press buffet in her “All Things D” blog today. As we learned about his health-inspired need for succession at Apple, all form of media weighed in with speculation, well wishes and a lot of fear. In her piece Kara expresses concern for “the reputation of a man who is one of the technology industry’s greatest icons–if not the greatest–having positively impacted the whole culture with a style and elegance that is unmatched.”

Kara also posted as I will below Steve Jobs 2005 Stanford Commencement speech. It’s hard not to “connect the dots” as he says and draw comparisons with Randy Pausch’s last lecture (also below) in light of today’s news. In this classic speech Jobs encourages everyone to follow their passion, to live each day as if it were the last and to “stay hungry, stay foolish.” When filtered through the ultimate reality check and final certainty of death, fears fall away, new possibilities emerge and the issue of following your passion and folly is a clear and moral mandate. What fear has hold of you and isn’t it somehow related to that ultimate reality?

On a cross-country Virgin America flight I was fortunate to catch Benjamin Zander delivering his TED presentation where he takes the mandate one step further. He believes once you’ve realized your passion, there’s a responsibility to evangelize it. He had a realization at 45-years old while standing in front of his orchestra that the conductor doesn’t make a sound. He draws his power by making other people powerful. And that changed everything for him, he said. “My job was to awaken possibility in other people. And you know when you’re doing it? The eyes. When the eyes are lit, it’s working.” Benjamin was referring to live speaking, but you can find equivalent “lit eyes” in the comments and re-tweets/forwarded messages you create that are true. Zander challenges: “If the eyes are not shiny, ask question: who am I being?” His “Return On Investment” (ROI) is in reality R-O-Eye.

So whether we live another year or another hundred years, we each have jobs to be done. And we’ve got some amazing sources of inspiration to draw from. All three videos posted below. Enjoy and, if it moves you, pls post a reaction with what you believe to be your mandate.

Steve Jobs 2005 Stanford Speech:

Randy Pausch Last Lecture

Benjamin Zander TED presentation


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