Quotes, articles and principles overwhelm all of us all the time, they all come from famous and incredible thinkers of our century. We can name some of them like Einstein, Gandhi, Freud and few others. But for all entrepreneurs that I might now, one stays the reference of perseverance and achievement, Steve Jobs. Two films were already shot, a book became a best seller, hundreds of other books nurtured the legend…even his badass side of his personality did not affect the aura of his career. Sometimes, we may doubt that certain quotes were not really spoken up by him…but who cares. All is part of history. Even his immigrant parents were a subject to talk about in the global discussion about the crisis in Syria and in Middle East in general. If you quote Steve, you might be going to the right direction. But I really wanted to go further…
Then, I came across the study of Penelope Lockwood and Ziva Kunda that discovered that parents are mostly not the main source of influence for the construction of people’s personality. Role models are much important in the way you build and express your originality. The paradox of encouraging children to develop strong values is that parents limit their own influence. Parents can nurture the impulse but role models are needed to develop what is needed. Even fictional characters are mentioned by brilliant minds. Elon Musk often talks about Lord of the Rings, Jeff Bezos about the Wrinkle in Time, Zuckenberg referencing the Ender’s Game as a major influence. And we believe that Harry Potter will have a strong role to play for the coming generations. But then, is there somebody behind Steve Jobs?
A man was certainly the main influence of Jobs. He had the same feel for innovation, for making his products some breakthrough revolution, using the same dramatic public announcements, he was asking the people to feel different…Jobs was talking about him on a regular basis – Edwin Land, the founder of Polaroid. Today, Land is most famous to have invented the instant camera and its star product became an iconic element of the pop culture. Andy Warhol, NASA astronauts to capture the sun, casting in the 80’s and 90’s to discover the young generation of top models. He also played a vital rolein conceiving and designing the U-2 spy plane in the heart of the Cold War with USSR. And now, he has barely a one-page description on Wikipedia https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_H._Land
Land may have been an original and an innovation mastermind but he failed to instill these attributes on his company’s culture. Polaroid was one of the pioneers in digital cameras, yet ultimately went bankrupt because of it. An irony that may teach us a couple of things: never cherish an ideal without understanding where it comes from, everybody is living failures even the best of us, success is not eternal and you have to work it out everyday…Sure I’m forgetting a lot of lessons here. I’m just hoping that Apple will not end up like Polaroid.
And other point to open a new discussion, have a look to this picture that is everywhere on social media. What do you think?