Connecting the dots

I assume that many people would have something in common with my experiences I would mention below:

  • I still remember this beautiful round shaped computer, which changed my notion of computer and made me want to buy one.

  • I also recall the huge excitement when I grabbed my first ipod, which definitely enriched my music and dance life.
  • Thanks to the digital documents of my ipad, I didn’t have to carry all the reading assignment physically for my Master’s study, which enabled me to read anywhere I went.
  • Nowadays I no longer carry digital camera when I travel because I am pretty satisfied with the camera quality of my i-phone, which always stay in my pocket to be used as a phone, music player, dictionary, etc.
  • Pixar’s movies made me start thinking that animation is no longer for kids (“Finding Nemo” and “Toy Story 3” are still one of my favorite movies.)

Those experiences all made sense to me after finishing a best seller book called “Steve Jobs” (Walter Isaacson, 2011), a biography of ex-CEO of 2 big companies (Apple and Pixar).

In general I am not so into biography. But I became interested in knowing about him because I was so moved by his speech of 2005 Stanford University graduation. Through this book, I could know the detail of why he was fired by the company he had made or how come he did not appear so much in public but did so for this speech and so on. Overall, I finally figured out that it was his philosophy that made all of his achievements possible. In other words (to barrow the phrase used in his speech), the dots were connected.

Although I could tell that he was not a “kind man” through the descriptions of his harsh way to treat people, I definitely believe that he was a “great man” in many ways.

Anyway, the reason I am writing about him on this blog is that the other day right after finishing the book, I watched a TED presentation called “How great leaders inspire action” which explains why Apple was successful, and I couldn’t agree more with the idea. In other words, I felt that the dots were connected so I thought it would be worth sharing.

The 3 dots that I connected were:
1. Watching his speech
2. Reading the book
3. Watching the TED

【1. Speech: Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address】

【2. The book: “Steve Jobs” (Walter Isaacson, 2011) 】

【3. TED: How great leaders inspire action (Simon Sinek)】

Let me finish with some of the quotes I picked from the book and divided them into some themes (Education, Focus and Simplicity, Passion and Insistence, and Stanford Speech.


  • They (school) came close to really beating curiosity out of me-
  • I was very lucky, because when I was a kid both my dad and the Hearhikits made me believe I could build anything-
  • The more the outside world tries to reinforce an image of you, the harder it is to continue to be an artist, which is why a lot of times artists have to say “Bye. I have to go. I’m going crazy and I’m getting out of here.” And they go-
  • Steve Jobs has designed a powerful computer that an illiterate six-year-old can use without instruction-

[Focus and Simplicity (from Zen training)]

  • Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication-
  • To be truly simple, you have to go really deep-
  • Less is always more, simpler is always better-
  • Deciding what not do is as important as deciding what to do-
  • What are the five products you want to focus on? Get rid of the rest-
  • The focus was always on the future: What should each product do next? What new things should be developed?-

[Passion and Insistence]

  • If something isn’t right, you can’t just ignore it and say you’ll fix it later, That’s what other companies do.-
  • if you don’t love something, you’re not going to go the extra mile, work the extra weekend, challenge the status quo as much.
  • If we got through our second film (bugs’ life following Toy Story), we’d make it-
  • Jobs obsessed over every aspect of the new building, from the overall concept to the tiniest detail regarding materials and construction (believing that right kind of building can do great things for a culture)-
  • Creativity comes from spontaneous meeting, from random discussions-
  • I like the film (Finding Nemo) because it was about taking risks and learning to let those you love take risks-
  • If you don’t feel comfortable disagreeing, then you’ll never survive-
  • Some people say, “Give the customers what they want.” But that’s not my approach. Our job is to figure out what they’re going to want before they do. I think Henry Ford once said, “If I’d asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me, ‘A faster horse!’ “-

[Stanford Speech]

  • One night he sat down and wrote the speech himself………it tuned out to be a very intimate and simple talk, with the unadorned and personal feel of a perfect Steve Jobs product.-
  • Alex Haley once said that the best way to begin a speech is “Let me tell you a story.” Nobody is eager for a lecture, but everybody loves a story
  • Remembering that you are going to die s the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart…….Your time is limited. So don’t waste it living someone else’s life.

I think that what I am doing and what I want to do in the future are on the extended line of the connected dots (my past experiences), and I hope the line will be a strong one like his.


One thought on “Connecting the dots

  1. Pingback: Link between American Apple and Japanse Bug | MD NO SUSUME

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