They came through. In an interview for the 1994 PBS documentary, “One Last Thing”, Jobs made a comment that says a lot about why Apple became an industry leader:
Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is – everything around you that you call life, was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.
Determined to turn the company around, in 1997 Steve Jobs gave the creative team at the advertising agency of TBWA\Chiat\Day a short timeline to develop a new campaign. “Think Different” paid attention to the Apple CEO’s philosophy. At the heart of the campaign was a commercial with a brilliant message:
Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
When I think about the people I have highlighted on this blog, I see a lot of rebels and round pegs, a lot of people who refuse to accept the status quo. Each one of them lights up some corner of this world of ours. They inspire us to listen to our own inner voices, to ignore the naysayers and follow our dreams. We do not have to be a Gandhi or an Einstein, an Amelia Earhart or an Eleanor Roosevelt to change the world. We just have to be our truest, most authentic selves.
Apple computers grew to be one of the most innovative and successful companies in the world because of their willingness to shake up the world of computing, to branch out in different directions. They give me hope.
Richard Dreyfuss was the voiceover actor for the version of the “Think Different” commercial that aired. He read it beautifully, but I am partial to the original version with Steve Jobs’s voice. Fortunately, Scotty Jackson, an Apple consultant in the Los Angeles area, had a copy and posted it in 2009.