August has been a crazy month in the technology press, but no story has had the same impact than Steve Job’s resignation as CEO of Apple. Whilst I’ve been enjoying commentary and many stories regarding his 14-year tenure, it’s the man’s own words that have been most insightful. From this collection of Steve Job’s quotes, an answer given during an interview with Wired caught my eye:
I’m 40 years old, and this stuff doesn’t change the world. It really doesn’t.
I’m sorry, it’s true. Having children really changes your view on these things. We’re born, we live for a brief instant, and we die. It’s been happening for a long time. Technology is not changing it much – if at all.
These technologies can make life easier, can let us touch people we might not otherwise. You may have a child with a birth defect and be able to get in touch with other parents and support groups, get medical information, the latest experimental drugs. These things can profoundly influence life. I’m not downplaying that.
But it’s a disservice to constantly put things in this radical new light – that it’s going to change everything. Things don’t have to change the world to be important.
Only a few weeks ago I was bemoaning the overuse of the phrase ‘change the world’. I heard this said far too often when I worked in the Valley, so it was heartening to read Jobs’ thoughts on the matter.
I do so hope Steve will have plenty more opportunities to part with such wisdom as he enjoys his retirement.