Oct 6, 2011

Obituary: Father of iRevolution

Very rarely did I long for someone who lived as far away from me as Steve Jobs did. The same feeling for almost everyone on the planet who were not even remotely related to Steve. His death came out as a shock-of-the-day when on Wednesday, late night, Apple announced it formally.

"We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today," the company said in a brief statement. "Steve's brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve," they added.
Steve Jobs - 1955-2011

One's legacy is determined by what the world speaks about them, after they are no more. That includes their rivals too. Here is Bill Gates' reaction.
"The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come."
Steve may be absent physically but  his stunning display of perfection and unmatchable aspiration for quality will continue to inspire us. Time after time, he sold people on a product they didn't know they needed until he invented it. And all this on an official annual salary of $1. I stand up and salute this great man who taught us what miracles can be made in 56 years, by fighting a deadly cancer. Steve is the one of the fewer Americans who went on to materialize the "American Dream", if there ever was one.

Whoever you are, Whatever you do, reading these will change the way you see yourself, and the outside world.

Here is some of my favorite quotations from him.

On Death:
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It's life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.
Stanford Commencement Adress, 2005

On Design:
Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

On being prepared for the worst:

Sometimes life is going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith.

On What happened when he tried to sell his technology to 'then' leaders:

So we went to Atari and said, 'Hey, we've got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we'll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we'll come work for you.' And they said, 'No.' So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, 'Hey, we don't need you. You haven't got through college yet.'

Jobs on Jobs:
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on


On Fear of Failure:
Almost everything--all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure--these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is 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.

On How the market trend changes:

You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new.

On what he is proud about:

I'm as proud of what we don't do as I am of what we do.

On how to live:
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Oct 5, 2011

Half Empty or half full?

Read about an interesting theory that comes out of this picture below. All we have is a glass which is partly filled with water. Now an interesting question comes out:

There is a lot to learn, even from a glass of water!
Is the glass half-empty or Half full?
That's a weird question because the answer could be both. Usually, one answer first comes to your instinct, even before you realize that there is actually two different answers to it. Whatever you choose, it helps determine your ability to THINK POSITIVE.
Only one, who can see half-full glass half-empty, can make it full.
So only if you thought it is half-empty, you can add some and make it full. To generalize the principle behind it, taking our Life as example, we get many things by birth, and go on to acquire few more during our course of life, and eventually lose some due to unexpected circumstances. We fret over that loss, failing to realize that there is still more in hand, and lot more left to achieve.
Think about the speed breakers you see when you drive. We see them from a distance, slow down a bit, cross it, accelerate further, regain the momentum and continue the journey. We keep seeing many such, repeat the same sequence of actions until the destination is reached. Comparing this sequence with our lives, If obstacles are speed breakers, our sequence of reactions is entirely different from that of driving. We slow down, and go down completely. There is no 'cross-it' followed by that 'accelerate' to regain momentum. The destination remains a far cry. My Uncle always keeps this John Wicker quotation in his email signature: "Life is a long line of opportunities". Once we get over that 'obstacle' and regain momentum, we will realize that John Wicker really meant it!

On another occasion, I was attending a session on Agile Methodologies. The presenter started of with a short video clip. A tall, young blonde lady, totally drunk, walks out of a bar. Another man with long hair, and a goatee, stands at one end of a cross road. They start a conversation when the woman inquires him for direction:
Woman: "Can you tell me how to go to Hotel Caucasian?". 
Man: The place is 20 minutes from here if you take the main way.
Man: There is a short route, which can take you in just 10 minutes.
Man: I am going there. You can join me if you want. 
Woman: "Oh yes, that would be great. Thanks".

The woman agrees and they start walking. The man takes her into a dark, short lane. None of them is visible now. Darkness fills the projector, and the clip ended a second later. The presenter then asked us to guess what would 've happened to the woman. A rape looked a better possibility to me, and did so for many others. All reported events like Theft, Robbery, Rape, Murder. I added for fun, "He will turn into a Vampire and bite her neck".

To our astonishment, the presenter said, "All  of you are wrong. The woman actually reached the Hotel 10 minutes earlier". It is human nature to see the negative aspects first, before beginning a task. His theory was that developers working in Agile projects must always THINK POSITIVE. To bring out that point, he used this interesting example. If you are reading this, and you thought she would 've reached earlier as he promised, you rock! There is something special you have, which many of us doesn't. 

In case you anticipated a rape or theft, or if you considered the glass to be half-empty, you need to realize that there is one important habit you need to cultivate. I just did! It will be interesting to see how well this could help, after following it in our lives.a

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