Friday, March 13, 2015

A Note from our CEO, Jeff Mann

Since our my last note, I had the chance to attend training at the Apple world headquarters in Cupertino. I was there during what would have been Steve Jobs’s 60th birthday, so naturally it was an exciting time to visit! While I was having lunch at Cafe Macs and looking up at Steve’s old office, I couldn’t help but think how awesome it was that I had the  opportunity to pursue knowledge that would help our customers in the place where all the magic happens.

I thought about how inspired I have been over the years by Steve and by one of his speeches in particular. In 2005, Steve, a college drop out, was invited to deliver the commencement address at Stanford University just up the road from Apple’s headquarters. If you haven’t heard the speech, I highly recommend it. As I sat in the grass listening to the speech for the 100th time, I became inspired all over again. For a man known for being a perfectionist, it is surprising to hear him advocating for failure but the message is to accept failure and then try again. It is acceptable to fail but it is not acceptable to give up.  

Striving to reach perfection in an imperfect world seems crazy but we thrive on it and it is our passion. All this technology is great but it’s not perfect and sometimes the solutions are not perfect either. There is trial and error and steps forward and setbacks–yet we keep working to find the right answer because when we do, it makes life better. If Apple gave up every time something failed, there would be no iPhone and the iPad wouldn’t have changed the world as the iPod did. We have to aim for the stars and keep reaching when we come up short. As Steve said “Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith.” 

In closing, Steve tells the class to “Stay hungry, stay foolish”. I think there’s an important lesson for all of us in that. To me it’s never be satisfied with the status quo, always reach further. If we fail, we try again until we get it right. If we think we know everything, realize how little we actually know and study harder. If we are foolish enough to think we can change the world for the better, then maybe we can…as long as we don’t loose faith when we fail and keep trying.