I've watched the amazing products from this man define various points of my life. I designed my school newspaper music column and some of my early computer illustrations on the first Macintosh. I can remember borrowing my friend's Macintosh every time I had a paper due in college. Every graphic art and design job I had used an Apple system. The first computer I bought for home was the first iMac and I used it for 8 years until I bought the computers I have today. Apple is an industry standard.
Why do I feel so strongly about Steve Jobs and Apple? The reason is that he was an innovator in his business and he didn't let his history or the manner in which he gained his experience stop his unwavering level of standards. Yes, standards, is what separates the Steve Jobs from Bill Gates. Apple is the equivalent of what Mercedes is in the automobile industry. You pay for quality. It has never been the concern of Steve Jobs to compete with the rest of the electronics and computing industry by cutting standards. That is what everyone else does. Steve Jobs applied a long term vision of standards to his business model and effectually told everyone, "If you build it they will come." Everyone else who scrambled around to play with price by cutting corners is no longer relevant and it will continue to be that way. You don't buy an Apple because it is a bargain, you buy an Apple because it is the best. I laugh at all of the fools decades ago that balked at the small market share of this company. Their business didn't change. They were just intelligent enough to understand that their audience would evolve over time. Imagine what having that kind of vision in your art business could do for you.
If you want to be inspired, watch one of my favorite speeches from him at Stanford in 2005.
Steve Jobs did not allow his background to stifle his vision. He grew up in a poor family, was adopted, dropped out of college, was fired by the company he created and yet, his character and reputation was never destroyed. Put your challenges to the same standards and see how you would feel. The man was and will remain an inspiration to me.
Steve Jobs is an example of what all artists should embody. He was as creative with his products as he was with their presentation, their marketing, and their sales. EVERYTHING, was a brand and EVERYTHING was important. As artists, musicians and other creative people we should evaluate all we do and ask ourselves whether we are going our overall business with the same consistent set of standards. Do some research on his products and their marketing if you aren't familiar with them. The infamous 1984 commercial, the wild designs, the new innovative technologies, color, size, design, presentation. Everything he did broke the mold so others could progress. There is NO reason why you can't embrace the same level of enthusiasm, passion and confidence in your art career. There is NO reason why you need to follow the same set of standards or practices you see everyone around you doing! Be known for something! Don't be a jack of all trades. Find your passion and run it up the flag pole! Invent your own level of standards and break out from the pack. Hell, can you even imagine twenty years ago someone calling a computer "sexy?" He did it all and you can too. Follow your own dreams and then inspire others to do the same everyday and we'll all progress just a little more towards a happier world. I do.
Rest in Peace, Steve. Thank you for sharing your greatness.