Despite popular belief, most innovative ideas aren’t discovered by thinking at your desk for days on end. Rather, they are inspired by the things and events that surround us, and then they are driven by an individual’s own passion.
Take Apple as our classic example of innovative thinking. Jobs and Wozniak didn’t come up with the idea of a user-friendly personal computer by being shut in their room and brainstorming.
Jobs had been studying Zen Buddhism and taking LSD before he turned into the CEO of Apple Computer, while Wozniak had a passion for computers long before he pioneered the circuit board that propelled Apple to victory.
The average Joe can understand how Wozniak’s passion for computers led him towards innovative
engineering of circuit boards, but Jobs? Taking drugs and running a multibillion-dollar company have nothing in common.
Or do they?
Jobs took drugs and studied Zen Buddhism as part of the “Hippie” movement of the 1970’s, which incorporated key ideals of peace, freedom and harmony. And although Job’s history faded as he shot to fame, his principles didn’t; and that’s what ultimately helped him come up with the most innovative ideas the world has ever seen.
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Ever notice how all of Apple’s products are in harmony with each other? Ever notice how all of Apple’s products have been released in a white variant? Ever notice how they all have a simple yet elegant design?
For Jobs, Apple wasn’t just his business, it was an embodiment of everything he stood for, and ultimately a reflection of himself.
Throughout his life, Jobs was pursuing the idea of freedom. It was first through Zen Buddhism, and then through LSD. Even when Jobs moved towards Apple, he didn’t stop; he just continued pursuing freedom by making computers.
So, the lesson of today.
Innovation isn’t the product of putting in effort to achieve something, it’s the byproduct.
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