Do you give a damn? (It’s more important than being as smart as Steve Jobs.)

by Bruce Kasanoff on February 25, 2013

Apple design guru, Jonathan Ive, was quoted by 9to5Mac as saying about Steve Jobs:

“Despite all his successes, all his achievements, he never presumed, he never assumed, that we would get there in the end. And when the ideas didn’t come, and when the prototypes failed, it was with great intent, with faith, he decided to believe we would eventually make something great. But the joy of getting there. I loved his enthusiasm. His simple delight. Often, I think, mixed with some simple relief. Yeah, we got there, we got there in the end and it was good. You can see his smile can’t you? The celebration of making something great for everybody. Enjoying the defeat of cynicism. The rejection of reason. The rejection of being told 100 times, ‘You can’t do that.’ So his I think, was a victory for beauty, for purity. And as he would say, ‘For giving a damn.’”

So Steve Jobs, the man most thought was a genius, who built then rebuilt Apple, who built Pixar, who changed the way we use technology… felt he suffered the rejection of being told 100 times he couldn’t do what he wanted.

He struggled through ideas that didn’t come. Prototype after prototype didn’t work.

25 years ago, I learned – almost by accident – my most useful lesson so far: everyone feels caught in the middle.

You feel your boss is constantly telling you what to do. She feels the CEO won’t let her succeed. The CEO feels pressured by the Board. The Board feels powerless to control the CEO, or unable to influence investors.

It doesn’t come down to genius.

It comes down to whether you give a damn, enough to fight for what you believe.

Do you?

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