Reflections On A Passing Icon

    By Mike Dodd

    I just finished reading Walter Isaacson’s novel about Steve Jobs.  I was fortunate enough to be in the audience when Mr. Isaacson journeyed to Kansas City last fall just after the book was released and Jobs had passed away.  I received a signed copy of the book and was privileged to listen to a ninety minute interview of Mr. Isaacson about his adventure.  To say that he was engaging would be an understatement.  His quick wit and engaging personality made me want to read the book immediately, even though I had never been a big fan of the iconic figure who built Apple into the world’s most valuable company.

    I don’t read much.  I’ve always figured I wasn’t very good at it and that I was slow, so the task took on a laborious quality for me over the years.  I justified my position by reading lots of technically-related journals specific to my industry and participating in many ongoing continuing education courses and certifications, again specific to my work.  I never made time for recreational reading, however.  Over the holidays, I read several trashy paperback novels that were lying around the house.  By trashy I mean suspense and science fiction types of paperbacks, the type that really push the envelope as to how believable they are or not.  When I realized that I wasn’t as slow as I had previously though, I tackled Isaacson’s novel.  It is a long read, but well worth the effort.

    Steve Jobs may well be not only one of the most famous individuals of his generation, and certainly among the wealthiest, but he will almost certainly go down in history, along with Thomas Edison and Henry Ford and others, as great visionaries who shaped and changed our world.  His ability to determine what people wanted before they even knew it was only part of his genius.  His attention to the minutest detail is legendary, as was his style of micromanagement.  I think he is revered by most folks because of the great organization that he built from scratch and because so many of the products that Apple designed are woven into the fabric of our everyday lives.

    My distaste for Steve Jobs is even more pronounced after reading his authorized story.  He didn’t read it before he died.  I don’t know what he would have thought.  I suspect that he would have ranted and raved as to the indiscretions that littered the pages of the novel, even though they were true.  There is no denying the significance and place in history of his accomplishments… problem is the way in which he went about it.  I won’t belabor the details here.  Suffice to say that Mr. Jobs’ style does not resonate with my own, fundamentally or philosophically.  I have never believed that it was necessary to berate people in order to achieve the greater goal, as he did.

    There’s a message in all this… least for me. LifeWise Renovations® will never rival Apple for market penetration or size.  We are trail blazers, however, much like Apple was in their beginning and throughout its glorious history.  We have an opportunity to change the world by not compromising our approach.  Like Apple, we have borrowed ideas and technologies from others who came before us.  For whatever reason, the timing hasn’t been quite right for acceptance of our expertise and the medical component that we have incorporated into our continuum of care model…..until now.  As we boomers make demands on the marketplace to satisfy our very specific desires, it will be incumbent upon companies like ours to deliver on that.  We do so without cutting corners and by adhering to the values that define business longevity.  A company like Apple comes along once in a generation, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have an equal opportunity to make a difference in the world.  It is our mission.