Apples Founder Steve Jobs Connecting The Dots By Stacy Poulos
It always amazes me the similarities in the journeys of my dyslexic colleagues. I guess I never looked at the fact that I “Dropped Out” of College to pursue my own courses of interests, when the school system held me back for refusing to be tested in areas I had already completed, along with all the prerequisites to get there. I never really quit educating myself. That took a lot of discipline. I just changed my course of how I was going to get that same education I sought after in the first place; to be a filmmaker. I didn’t go to college, just to do it. Unlike Steve Jobs that didn’t know what he wanted, I knew since I was a kid. I just knew I wasn’t going to get that piece of paper that said that I went through the education. Or to be able to write on a resume BA Filmmaking. “”I”” realized back then, that in the end it was just going to have to be on the merit of my talent and work. That is what I focused on as being truly important. It took moxy to know that, and go against the system and continue for years. But I did it and I’m a award winning director/cinematographer today. Not in a huge way, just in a very respected way. And now I have connected the dots that, that discipline I took on, is what makes me a continued success. It keep rewarding me as I went along. That discipline is what makes me know I have to change with time, and that is what keeps me successful today. As I am always continuing to learn to keep up with technology and apply my old film values and techniques to new technologies.
I love Steve Jobs he’s one of my favorite dyslexic’s because if it wasn’t for “apple” I would have been anti computers, this I know for sure. You must see his speech on our channel.
In Steve Jobs address to Stanford College graduating class of 2005 he spoke about connecting the dots. Where later in life you realize if that one ‘over whelming failure’ in your life at the time, hadn’t happen, he wouldn’t have achieved the same results in life.
Steve Jobs: “I never graduated from college. Truth be told,… … The first story is about connecting the dots. I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?
…After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting…
…Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed.
…Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this.
…None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” -Steve Jobs
This is a prepared text of the Commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, on June 12, 2005.
I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.
The first story is about connecting the dots.
I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?
It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.
And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.
It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.
Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
My second story is about love and loss.
I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.
I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.
I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.
During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.
I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. 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. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.
My third story is about death.
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my l
ife, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because 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.
About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.
I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.
This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:
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 as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
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 others’ 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.
When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960’s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.
Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.
For years I have had dyslexic’s submit their photo, quote and city of where there from for a project animation “Faces Of Dyslexia”™ I put the Faces on our facebook Fan Page. If your not a fan, make sure you are for updates. By Stacy Poulos
720 South Michigan Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60605 USAHilton Chicago
Wednesday, November 9, 2011 – Saturday, November 12, 2011
IDA’s Annual international Conference
is attended by some 2,000 teachers, educators, administrators, reading
specialists, faculty, psychologists, physicians, tutors, parents and
individuals from all around the world. This is the premier conference
dedicated to educating individuals and professionals alike on all
aspects related to reading, literacy and learning.
This is the time of year I love; MacWorld “Expo” Stats: January 27-29 San Francisco Moscone Center.
will be searching for the latest and greatest in Apps technology and
how it can apply to Dyslexia.TV and other applications. We already are working on an App, but
this is a rare opportunity to rub elbows with the developers themselves
since MacWorld is also focusing
on Apps. The fact Apple was not there last year allowed people to focus
on what goes in and on a Mac. You can go to a Mac Store 7 days a week and learn about Apple.
Not to mention they usually have a lot of things deeply discounted. Last
year I got a $150.00 Sennheiser headphones for $75.00! Programs are
usually at a steal. It’s not to be missed. Sometimes you can even win
one. You will learn a great deal. Instead of looking at a box wondering
if it’s something you want, there might be 3 versions by the time you
get from one end of the room to the next. You get to see it, feel it, and
ask questions. They even have set up living rooms where you can sit in
and listen to stereo systems you might want to buy. Stand by tomorrow I
might be getting a promotional code for “Dr. Bott” a company that sells
many of the cool products you want.
Macworld 2011 is a four day
celebration that entertains and educates. Macworld offers access to
hundreds of Apple related products and services. You will discover cool
software, hardware and accessories to use with your favorite Apple
You will also find expert advice, demonstrations and
instruction by the very people that develop these products. Macworld
conference programs feature industry leading minds, presenting cutting
edge product training on the topics you most want to learn.
Since I’m a Media Professional and an Educator, I was Also I was sent an announcement about: Apps for children with special needs are showcased at the Macworld 2011 Mobile Apps showcase.
With its 1001 ways to improve the life of any human being, the use of the iPad has also been a hot topic in the disability community. It is the combination of superb touch screen devices with the scientific knowledge and experience from a speech therapist that is making the difference for thousands of children and adults with special needs around the world. Barbara Fernandes, a speech pathologist and CEO of Smarty Ears has been developing applications for Apple devices for over one year to help children and adults with a variety of speech and language disorders to improve their communication skills and consequently their quality of life.
Smarty Ears will be showcasing their most recent releases at the Macworld Expo 2011 in San Francisco. Macworld 2011 is “a four day celebration that entertains and educates. Macworld offers access to hundreds of Apple related products and services.” Source: MacworldExpo.com
This year parents of children with a communication disorder such as stuttering, difficulty pronouncing words, or children that cannot communicate due to Autism or Apraxia of speech will have a chance to try out Smarty Ears apps at the Mobile Apps Showcase at the Macworld 2011. Smarty Ears wants to share with the parents and professionals that already use apple devices how this technology can help children with their communication skills.
Smarty Ears will be showcasing their newest app releases. “Articulate it!” is a application designed to help parents practice pronouncing sounds with their children. Many children with articulation disorders have difficulty pronouncing specific sounds. This application gives parents a fun way for in-home pronunciation practice.
Match2Say is a game also designed for children with difficulty pronouncing their sounds in the English language. Match2Say is a game that allows children to have fun while listening to high quality samples of specific sounds while learning at the same time. Many children with developmental disorders, such as Autism or Down’s syndrome have difficulty speaking using their own voice. Smarty Ears created an application called “Expressive”. With Expressive, children who may have never expressed themselves have a chance to combine pictures that will speak for them. At US$34.99 Expressive is one of the most affordable apps on the market and it costs a fraction of the devices it rivals, which typically cost anywhere between US$800 and US$4000.
Smarty Ears, a company created in August of 2009 has been the new breakthrough in the area of speech and language therapy. They have released innovative products that combine technology and speech and language sciences, making speech therapy more affordable, fun, and greener. Smarty Ears has already released 15 products on the app Store as of January 2011 and it is expected to release at least 5 new products this spring.
If it wasn’t for Macintosh, I wouldn’t be on a computer. If you’re on the fence about Mac get off it and come over to the bright side of computing experience.
Macintosh is naturally ‘dyslexic friendly’. Maybe that’s because Steve Jobs the developer is dyslexic himself. I always rave about Apple with good reason. It’s simple, logical, and easy to use, and it gets better every year!
Last year we found many products that enhance the dyslexic user. Go to MacWorld Expo and see all the vendors. IDG puts on a great show. The Expo starts in January this year.
Teachers; It Takes a Village of Readers Award – A multisensory, structured language training program
Ultimately someday my goal is to have reading programs specific for dyslexic’s. Not me necessarily but have FreeThinkers University fund grants to help others have them.
Today Forest Park Review reported “Garfield was recently named the winner of the “It Takes a Village of Readers Award” by the Illinois Branch of the International Dyslexia Association. The award is handed out annually to only one school in the state that provides an “exemplary program for children struggling with learning to read.” By Katie Drews Editor
The reading program is called “SLANT”. The SLANT System for Structured Language Training® is a research-based, multisensory, structured language training program combining professional development for teachers and systematic curriculum materials for students. I’m always attracted to the multisensory side of teaching. Teachers can see more information about the program on the SLANT site. I would love comments on your helpful discoveries for other teachers to benefit from this if it works. Or if Slant would like to elaborate about the program. http://www.slantsystem.com/about_slant
Hey it’s The Fonz saying it’s cool to read, Henry Winkler endorses Smart kids with LD books.
“It does not matter how you learn… You have greatness in you. Your job is to figure out what your gift is and give it to the world.” – Henry Winkler Actor, director, producer, author, Honorary Chairman, Smart Kids with LD
It’s not news Henry Winkler’s dyslexic, he’s been an advocate for dyslexia for a long time. Today I came across this website where he endorses ‘Smart kids with LD’. Till the end of the month, they are having a read-a-thon. He suggest reading some of the books below.