math_of_money
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Do like Steve Jobs did : Don't follow your Passion
04-07-2013, 08:35 AM, (This post was last modified: 04-07-2013, 08:38 AM by Thriftville.)
Post: #1
DO LIKE STEVE JOBS DID: DON'T FOLLOW YOUR PASSION
buddies, invest your time wisely...

Link

Do Like Steve Jobs Did: Don't Follow Your Passion

Steve Jobs didn't start Apple because he loved technology. This excerpt from "So Good They Can't Ignore You" tells the much messier story behind the old saying, "do what you love."
By: Cal Newport
125 Comments
Email

In June 2005, Steve Jobs took the podium at Stanford Stadium to give the commencement speech to Stanford's graduating class. Wearing jeans and sandals under his formal robe, Jobs addressed a crowd of 23,000 with a short speech that drew lessons from his life. About a third of the way into the address, Jobs offered the following advice: You've got to find what you love…. [T]he only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking, and don't settle.

When he finished, he received a standing ovation.

Steve Jobs--a guru of iconoclastic thinking--put his stamp of approval on an immensely appealing piece of popular career advice, which I call the passion hypothesis:

The key to occupational happiness is to first figure out what you're passionate about and then find a job that matches this passion.

This hypothesis is one of modern American society's most well-worn themes. Those of us lucky enough to have some choice in what we do with our lives are bombarded with this message, starting at an early age. We are told to lionize those with the courage to follow their passion, and pity the conformist drones who cling to the safe path. As one prominent career counselor told me, "do what you love, and the money will follow" has become the de facto motto of the career-advice field.

There is, however, a problem lurking here: When you look past the feel-good slogans and go deeper into the details of how passionate people like Steve Jobs really got started, or ask scientists about what actually predicts workplace happiness, the issue becomes much more complicated. You begin to find threads of nuance that, once pulled, unravel the tight certainty of the passion hypothesis, eventually leading to an unsettling recognition: "Follow your passion" might just be terrible advice.
Do what Steve Jobs did, not what he said

If you had met a young Steve Jobs in the years leading up to his founding of Apple Computer, you wouldn't have pegged him as someone who was passionate about starting a technology company. Jobs had attended Reed College, a prestigious liberal arts enclave in Oregon, where he grew his hair long and took to walking barefoot. Unlike other technology visionaries of his era, Jobs wasn't particularly interested in either business or electronics as a student. He instead studied Western history and dance, and dabbled in Eastern mysticism.

Jobs dropped out of college after his first year, but remained on campus for a while, sleeping on floors and scrounging free meals at the local Hare Krishna temple. As Jeffrey S. Young notes in his exhaustively researched 1988 biography, Steve Jobs: The Journey Is the Reward, Jobs eventually grew tired of being a pauper and, during the early 1970s, returned home to California, where he moved back in with his parents and talked himself into a night-shift job at Atari. (The company had caught his attention with an ad in the San Jose Mercury News that read, "Have fun and make money.") During this period, Jobs split his time between Atari and the All-One Farm, a country commune located north of San Francisco. At one point, he left his job at Atari for several months to make a mendicants' spiritual journey through India, and on returning home he began to train seriously at the nearby Los Altos Zen Center.

In 1974, after Jobs's return from India, a local engineer and entrepreneur named Alex Kamradt started a computer time-sharing company dubbed Call-in Computer. Kamradt approached Steve Wozniak to design a terminal device he could sell to clients to use for accessing his central computer. Unlike Jobs, Wozniak was a true electronics whiz who was obsessed with technology and had studied it formally at college. On the flip side, however, Wozniak couldn't stomach business, so he allowed Jobs, a longtime friend, to handle the details of the arrangement. All was going well until the fall of 1975, when Jobs left for the season to spend time at the All-One commune. Unfortunately, he failed to tell Kamradt he was leaving. When he returned, he had been replaced.

I tell this story because these are hardly the actions of someone passionate about technology and entrepreneurship, yet this was less than a year before Jobs started Apple Computer. In other words, in the months leading up to the start of his visionary company, Steve Jobs was something of a conflicted young man, seeking spiritual enlightenment and dabbling in electronics only when it promised to earn him quick cash.

It was with this mindset that later that same year, Jobs stumbled into his big break. He noticed that the local "wireheads" were excited by the introduction of model-kit computers that enthusiasts could assemble at home. Jobs pitched Wozniak the idea of designing one of these kit computer circuit boards so they could sell them to local hobbyists. The initial plan was to make the boards for $25 apiece and sell them for $50. Jobs wanted to sell one hundred, total, which, after removing the costs of printing the boards, and a $1,500 fee for the initial board design, would leave them with a nice $1,000 profit. Neither Wozniak nor Jobs left their regular jobs: This was strictly a low-risk venture meant for their free time.

From this point, however, the story quickly veers into legend. Steve arrived barefoot at the Byte Shop, Paul Terrell's pioneering Mountain View computer store, and offered Terrell the circuit boards for sale. Terrell didn't want to sell plain boards, but said he would buy fully assembled computers. He would pay $500 for each, and wanted fifty as soon as they could be delivered. Jobs jumped at the opportunity to make an even larger amount of money and began scrounging together startup capital. It was in this unexpected windfall that Apple Computer was born. As Young emphasizes, "Their plans were circumspect and small-time. They weren't dreaming of taking over the world."
The Messy Lessons of Jobs

I shared the details of Steve Jobs's story because when it comes to finding fulfilling work, the details matter. If a young Steve Jobs had taken his own advice and decided to only pursue work he loved, we would probably find him today as one of the Los Altos Zen Center's most popular teachers. But he didn't follow this simple advice. Apple Computer was decidedly not born out of passion, but instead was the result of a lucky break--a "small-time" scheme that unexpectedly took off.



I don't doubt that Jobs eventually grew passionate about his work: If you've watched one of his famous keynote addresses, you've seen a man who obviously loved what he did. But so what? All that tells us is that it's good to enjoy what you do. This advice, though true, borders on the tautological and doesn't help us with the pressing question that we actually care about: How do we find work that we'll eventually love? Like Jobs, should we resist settling into one rigid career and instead try lots of small schemes, waiting for one to take off? Does it matter what general field we explore? How do we know when to stick with a project or when to move on? In other words, Jobs's story generates more questions than it answers. Perhaps the only thing it does make clear is that, at least for Jobs, "follow your passion" was not particularly useful advice.

Find Reply
04-07-2013, 09:49 AM,
Post: #2
RE: DO LIKE STEVE JOBS DID: DON'T FOLLOW YOUR PASSION
Nice article....

My approach in life,

Do what NEEDS to be done with passion....

Many of us don't really have the luxury of choice to follow our passion. Unless you have lots of $$ or no obligations / responsibilities eg. support old parents / young kids, your path in life is often mainly dictated by your needs... So, just do it with passion ie. do it well with all the energies and focus. In the worst case, at least you'd gained the respect and trust of others for having done a good job plus some personal satisfaction. Who knows... the money may follow as in the case of Steve Jobs in the article, on his 'lucky break'.... Cool
Luck & Fortune Favours those who are Prepared & Decisive when Opportunity Knocks
------------ 知己知彼 ,百战不殆 ;不知彼 ,不知己 ,每战必殆 ------------

Find Reply
04-07-2013, 10:16 AM,
Post: #3
RE: DO LIKE STEVE JOBS DID: DON'T FOLLOW YOUR PASSION
I will say steve jobs 'got lucky' right place right time he met wozniak who was the real genius who delivered the great product. Jobs just played it for as long as he could until the wheels came off. Big Grin

Find Reply
04-07-2013, 01:06 PM, (This post was last modified: 04-07-2013, 01:06 PM by flinger.)
Post: #4
RE: DO LIKE STEVE JOBS DID: DON'T FOLLOW YOUR PASSION
I think the article writer is confused between

1) Turning your passion into a job &
2) searching for the right job that you can be passionate about so that you can go far in it.

With no1. not everything you are passionate about can support your needs for having a good life. You will still do it because you enjoy and are passionate about it BUT it would not be your Career.

With no2. your focus is on finding a Career that allows you a good living that you can be passionate about. If you are passionate about what you do, you often tend to go far in it.

The writer is mixing both these and thus making a false conclusion.

Find Reply
04-07-2013, 06:00 PM, (This post was last modified: 04-07-2013, 07:34 PM by specuvestor.)
Post: #5
RE: DO LIKE STEVE JOBS DID: DON'T FOLLOW YOUR PASSION
(04-07-2013, 10:16 AM)sgd Wrote: I will say steve jobs 'got lucky' right place right time he met wozniak who was the real genius who delivered the great product. Jobs just played it for as long as he could until the wheels came off. Big Grin

Wozniak was a well regarded techie and genius but he hadn't contributed much to product development since his accident.

For those who has been following Apple, the article obviously doesn't know what Jobs is all about. Unlike Wozniak, Jobs is not a techie in the first place.

First off, before I am being accused of defending a dead man Tongue let me say that Jobs is a genius that one admires from afar. In fact very far Smile He is not a nice person to be with, unlike Wozniak. Very few people that worked with him has good things to say about his character but most are awed by his passion and his meticulous attention to details.

So what is his passion? Firstly Jobs is an "artist" more than a "scientist". He feels more than he thinks. That's why he took up caligraphy and into spiritualism. Secondly he is a perfectionist which resulted in his ouster as the manufacturing and eco-system couldn't keep up, something he focused very much on when he became iCEO in the late 90s. Thirdly as all know, he is a marketing guy.

He is able to "feel" what is lacking in the marketplace, and more importantly what makes sense. He loves design and how things work together. He loves to make great products that are beautiful. And he loves to change the world with it.

Though he has zen background, he is obviously not passive nor waiting for the next life to do something. He wants to make the best of his present life to achieve something before he goes, hence he became a visionary that wants to change the world. He explicitly explained that once you REALISE people around you are just as clueless, caring what people think (which is probably why he is not a nice person) or fear becomes irrelevant; he just need to make a stand in the midst of noise and get things moving in what he "feel" is the right direction. Stay hungry, Stay foolish.

So what is his passion? It is certainly not technology. It is about the USE of technology to impact the world. If he had went into auto industry, he would have tried to make a flying car Smile But he was in a PC infancy environment and met Wozniak in a computer club, and intrigued by how tech can help to make free long distance calls. He knew this thing was going to be big, just as how he knew GUI would be big after his infamous visit to Xerox.

He is a passionate person, but not about Tech or entrepenuership per se. That's why the article is barking up the wrong tree and obviously wrong conclusion.
Before you speak, listen. Before you write, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you invest, investigate. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try. Before you retire, save. Before you die, give. –William A. Ward

Find Reply
04-07-2013, 09:50 PM, (This post was last modified: 04-07-2013, 09:54 PM by sgd.)
Post: #6
RE: DO LIKE STEVE JOBS DID: DON'T FOLLOW YOUR PASSION
You are referring to steve jobs of a later time when he was older and wiser, the younger steve jobs of 70's was a brat when they started out. I think many people are confused. This is not the case of a person who finally hit it big after many years of struggle following his passion, this is unfortunately the story of a twice lucky one hit wonder who twice happen to be in the right place at the right time. That everybody has twisted the story into a fairy tale.

The real brains at that time was Wozniak who already working at HP building mainframe systems of course nobody remembers the techie but he was the one who built the Apple computer, jobs was just the guy at that time going around door to door trying to sell things to electronic hobbyists. Without Wozniak there would have been no apple and no mac products. Jobs is just a lucky guy in the right place at the right time and happen to know Wozniak. If you read the history during the 70's was a hippie era Jobs was just in his 20's dropped out of college. So Jobs had no background in engineering or business.

In fact after the success of Apple when jobs tried to spearhead other projects by himself like lisa computer or the mac all ended over budget and losing huge sums of money. What do you expect from a 20yo ceo?

Kinda reminds me of the recent story of groupon founder and ceo also another one hit wonder got fired because of huge losses he didn't know how to run a company what do you expect from 20 something year old ceo?

And the company NexT that jobs founded didn't do very well either, if he was so good and everybody claimed him to be a genius how come he couldn't replicate the success in Apple and apply into Next?

Later he found himself again in the right place at the right time when Apple bought over NeXT kind of like story of Prodigal son return.

Find Reply
04-07-2013, 10:35 PM,
Post: #7
RE: DO LIKE STEVE JOBS DID: DON'T FOLLOW YOUR PASSION
So the moral of the story is: If u want $$$, become good friends with those pp with passion.

Find Reply
05-07-2013, 12:05 AM,
Post: #8
RE: DO LIKE STEVE JOBS DID: DON'T FOLLOW YOUR PASSION
(04-07-2013, 09:50 PM)sgd Wrote: And the company NexT that jobs founded didn't do very well either, if he was so good and everybody claimed him to be a genius how come he couldn't replicate the success in Apple and apply into Next?

Later he found himself again in the right place at the right time when Apple bought over NeXT kind of like story of Prodigal son return.

A site which has a more flattering write-up on NeXt.... How about Pixar...?? More right time right place luck??
Luck & Fortune Favours those who are Prepared & Decisive when Opportunity Knocks
------------ 知己知彼 ,百战不殆 ;不知彼 ,不知己 ,每战必殆 ------------

Find Reply
05-07-2013, 08:50 AM,
Post: #9
RE: DO LIKE STEVE JOBS DID: DON'T FOLLOW YOUR PASSION
Dunno about Pixar but when NeXT was bought at that time in the 90's Apple was already on the ropes their products weren't selling well not because the products were not good it was sort of second chance for everybody for jobs as well as Apple who needed a new direction. By then jobs had grown in to more mature and wiser person.

Sort of like the whisky analogy Tongue, newly distilled grain whisky is very hot fiery and rough taste like nail polish totally crap but put it in a barrel let it go thru a decade of self development slowly maturing it will come out smoother taste better rough edges are also gone and that can be said of what happen with jobs.

Find Reply
05-07-2013, 10:36 AM, (This post was last modified: 05-07-2013, 10:39 AM by specuvestor.)
Post: #10
RE: DO LIKE STEVE JOBS DID: DON'T FOLLOW YOUR PASSION
(04-07-2013, 09:50 PM)sgd Wrote: You are referring to steve jobs of a later time when he was older and wiser, the younger steve jobs of 70's was a brat when they started out. I think many people are confused. This is not the case of a person who finally hit it big after many years of struggle following his passion, this is unfortunately the story of a twice lucky one hit wonder who twice happen to be in the right place at the right time. That everybody has twisted the story into a fairy tale.

The real brains at that time was Wozniak who already working at HP building mainframe systems of course nobody remembers the techie but he was the one who built the Apple computer, jobs was just the guy at that time going around door to door trying to sell things to electronic hobbyists. Without Wozniak there would have been no apple and no mac products. Jobs is just a lucky guy in the right place at the right time and happen to know Wozniak. If you read the history during the 70's was a hippie era Jobs was just in his 20's dropped out of college. So Jobs had no background in engineering or business.

In fact after the success of Apple when jobs tried to spearhead other projects by himself like lisa computer or the mac all ended over budget and losing huge sums of money. What do you expect from a 20yo ceo?

Kinda reminds me of the recent story of groupon founder and ceo also another one hit wonder got fired because of huge losses he didn't know how to run a company what do you expect from 20 something year old ceo?

And the company NexT that jobs founded didn't do very well either, if he was so good and everybody claimed him to be a genius how come he couldn't replicate the success in Apple and apply into Next?

Later he found himself again in the right place at the right time when Apple bought over NeXT kind of like story of Prodigal son return.

The evidence don't support 1) he was lucky 2) one hit wonder. The fairy tale is people don't understand the complexity of the things he created. iPhone was a mini miracle if you had followed the process.

There were many PC startups and gaming console players. It was cutthroat. I don't consider that luck. Where is IBM, atari or Compaq, Netscape, etc? Wozniak was instrumental in the setup of Apple. He wasn't even invloved in the developments later. Go watch the iconic interview on Jobs and Gates by AllThingsDigital D5.

NeXT didn't do well as the infrastructure was not there like Apple. And he was "lucky" that the board of Apple bought them over? His friend Larry Ellison proposed to take over Apple for him to run. OS X is based on NeXT architecture. Lucas sold Pixar for $5m to Jobs. Jobs was "lucky" there too that it became a huge success that Lucas was a clown, even when Lucas has all the technical knowledge of being founder of ILM.

I don't agree on attributing long term success on luck. I recognise luck can give people like Taleb or Paulson a one hit wonder. But to say a business do well because of luck means this forum should close already. I don't think iPad or iPhone born out of luck, he had conceived iPad 20 years ago. But definitely being a seasoned vet vs a 20yr old, he knew his perfectionist limits and strategise better. That's why the rest of the market lagged him, even his old nemesis Gates was no longer around to stop him.

End of day, I think passion is the right word to use to describe him... Techie is not. He is passionate about the things he do, rather than just a day job. He designed the Apple flagship store, that's not tech. He rehearsed a dozen times for his keynote presentation. He chose the best living person available to write his biography. His philosophy is to do the best possible. That's his passion.
Before you speak, listen. Before you write, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you invest, investigate. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try. Before you retire, save. Before you die, give. –William A. Ward

Find Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)
Valuebuddies.com | Return to Top | | Lite (Archive) Mode | RSS Syndication | CONTACT US: nas......@valuebuddies.com |