I came across an article this week from Lisa Eadicicco (Feb28,2020,10:40am) from Business Insider writing about Steve Jobs. Steve’s widow Laurene Powell Jobs was discussing a specific quote he had said once, and how people had interpreted it different ways over the years.
The quote read;
“At Apple, people are putting in 18-hour days. We attract a different type of person — a person who doesn’t want to wait five or 10 years to have someone take a giant risk on him or her. Someone who really wants to get in a little over his head and make a dent in the universe. We are aware that we are doing something significant. We’re here at the beginning of it and we’re able to shape how it goes. Everyone here has the sense that right now is one of those moments when we are influencing the future.”Steve Jobs 1985
Laurene went on to say that he meant “we are able, each of us, to manipulate the circumstances”.
I have long been an admirer of Steve Jobs and have consumed a lot of information regarding him. This quote gives great insights to the mind of what Apple was trying to achieve in the early 80’s. In understanding the quote and Lauren’s interpretation of what he meant I was instantly drawn to how the correlation between at the time what Apple was doing and the work that has and continues to occur at Tesla today.
The quote initial sentence of the quote highlighted that people worked for 18 hours a day. Obviously at the time Apple was trying to find its feet and work through challenges. Tesla has also had to find its feet as it has been challenged in the past when electric vehicles were frowned upon and most recently with the model 3 ramp. Tesla employees and Elon Musk himself worked many days with little sleep and long hours to find solutions to problems. This commitment continues to align with the next sentence when referring to the attraction of a different type of person, looking for a unique opportunity to demonstrate their unique skills set and to take a risk on them.
Elon has always shown he looks for the best of people. Not necessarily the smartest but the best. Problem solvers, passionate about the mission. People who see the world in a different way. People who truly want to make a dent in the universe.
To truly make a dent the people who are hired, as the quote also suggests, need to be aware that what they are doing is something unlike anything anyone has done before, “something significant”.
Tesla employees have known since the time they have driven in a Tesla, used the Powerwall during a storm when a blackout occurred or had a solar roof fitted to their home that Tesla is unusual, passionate and truly living up to its mission.
The beginning of something revolutionary is seldom understood until after the time has gone, yet the correlation between what Steve Jobs said and what tesla are doing today would suggest that Tesla new this would be revolutionary as long as the pieces of the puzzle where stitched together. Tesla has delivered on their vision and they continue to be at the forefront of revolutionary steps to changing the face of the transportation industry and delivering on their technologies and mission to transition the world to sustainable energy.
The quote by Steve Jobs, which he was said back in 1985 perfectly shows the exact ethos that Tesla now demonstrates. The words could just as easily have been said by Elon Musk himself.
In recent years I have come to believe that following your passion, believing in a mission, and taking some risks can improve the world in which we live. Furthermore, by working to achieve your dreams can give anyone the opportunity to “Make a dent in the universe”.
Steve jobs and Elon Musk are two people who have proven themselves to be visionaries. They have started from very little, expressed great dreams and strived to meet those dreams head on. Both have delivered and helped to revolutionize many areas of our daily lives.
To make a dent in the universe it is important to remember one final thing. Whilst making your vision a reality it is important to always consider the people who helped make the dream real. This and only this will make the quote of Steve Jobs truly something worth fighting for so we can all manipulate the circumstances and achieve our dreams.
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