Steve Jobs believed the best way to add value in the 21st Century was to connect creativity with technology. And it makes sense…
Technology helps a process move to the next level. We tend to think of technology in terms of software or hardware or advances in technology…but technology is application of science (and engineering) for practical purposes.
In Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs he states:
Apple developed not merely modest product advances based on focus groups but whole new devices and services that consumers did not yet know they needed.
One of my favorite lines relating to business that I have used with some of my clients is:
How do you expect to think differently if you read the same books everyone else is reading?
So here is the crux of this post today – great leaders connect right brain and left brain. Creativity and technology. Art and business. Dreaming and planning. Out of box thinking grounded in real life actions. People and data. My favorite management thinker, Peter Drucker, would wholeheartedly agree.
It’s a question that I sometimes get asked. The interrogator – usually trying to make conversation – has no idea that he or she is going to get a rather less than earth shattering answer which I will share with you in a minute…
Entrepreneurs in this day and age are seen, for the most part, as “the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes…” (Steve Jobs). There is this kind of cult of entrepreneurship that even makes large industry leaders take notice and state they want to be more “entrepreneurial”. Perhaps it’s because there’s this idea (which I support) that entrepreneurs are agents of change and are people that challenge the status quo. In fact, in many of my articles for Forbes I talk about this dimension of business – the need for business today to challenge old notions of “business for making money” and restore the idea that business should be relevant to all stakeholders. Building brands that have meaning and that answer the question WHY coherently and authentically is just the first step to being change makers.
So what is it that entrepreneurs talk about? In my 21 years of experience – started my first business at 15 – entrepreneurs often talk about implementation. That’s right, creating order (or at least the semblance of order encapsulated in a product or service) out of chaos. They integrate different models to come out with something “different”; looking at partnerships, investment and even a $3 USB cord to fix the motor of a car prototype (I’m quoting Elon Musk here).
Entrepreneurs talk about implementation and about money; not as the reason for starting our business or growing it but as a means to create our prototype, develop our “proof of concept” and scale our business.
I have had the honor and the challenge of working directly with more than 10 start-ups and I have witnessed first-hand that entrepreneurs are out to change the world but in small and incremental ways; we spend our time finding out how to implement our idea for the best impact.
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” Steve Jobs