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MAD Musings 11
Madrid, España: Sun 30-Oct-16

Hola! We’re back in the saddle here at FFHQ and continuing our look at talks, speeches, addresses and the like.

Following Jim Carrey a couple of weeks back, here we have another classic, well known to you already I suspect but worth another or a first look.

It’s Steve Jobs’ famous commencement speech at Stanford University, California in 2005. It’s much quoted and referenced and this post will be no exception 😉

Whatever you may or may not think of the guy, this speech is rich in nuggets and his story, achievements and contribution unquestionable.

The manner he has done it in or whether for the good of humanity is another debate but the products and ethos of his company are second to none in many respects…

Take it away Stevie!

Interesting. Imagine getting fired from your own company, good job he did in a way! And a few things to say on life, work and illness, which would eventually be his downfall.

One of my favourite quotes from our Steve is the following:

“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something” 

I remember clearly that one popping up somewhere during my last job and I was seriously ‘considering my options’, you could say. I was standing in the office kitchen, drinking my lukewarm microwaved coffee whilst stuffing an apple into my face thinking, ‘yep, too many days… that’s quite enough of this nonsense’. My boss walked in and I just turned to her and said, “Okey doke, that’s me done. We knew this day would come”. She did indeed and we went through the resignation process shortly after. Haven’t looked back since! Well, a little glance…

[That job was also the inspiration behind the name of this website, read more here!]

So Jobsy is worth a listen but you can safely avoid his movies. I recently watched the eponymously titled “Steve Jobs” (2015), which was terrible and I switched off half way through. I also have it on good authority that the half-eponymously titled “Jobs” (2013) is not too clever either. I may give that one a watch eventually as I feel it’s more a biopic/back-story but it’s not ‘prioritaire’.


Another concept I like that he talks about in his speech is that of connecting the dots looking back. It’s absolutely true and a nice way of expressing it. That’s the only way you can do it. Things don’t necessairly make much sense at all without the wider perspective, but get a few years down the track you may just see how it all fits together and that it couldn’t have happened any other way.

So, just hang in there… it doesn’t matter what your religious or spiritual beliefs are or are not, there is a story unfolding.

Jobs famously wore the same black turtleneck top everyday. Not literally, I’m sure there was more than one garment but the point is he had several the exact same style. There is a good reason for this and perhaps a deeper dicussion for another day, but when you have important things to do, the last thing you want is to waste your precious energy on thinking about what to wear.

Barack Obama has 2 suits – blue and grey. Mark Zuckerberg, same t-shirt and jeans. This is quite common and has to do with willpower, the decision making process and its mental effects. This is one of the reasons you may see me rotate the same 3 hoodies through the winter… that and being a cheapskate 😛

In a previous post, I referred to the book Start With Why by Simon Sinek (and another with his TED Talk) and he draws hugely from Apple in his examples of how to use his Golden Circle.

“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… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do” ~ Steve Jobs

Musky reading…

elonmuskbookI’m currently working my way through Elon Musk’s biography. He’s becoming more prominent around mainstream media so you may well of heard of him or will do soon enough. He’s a Canadian/American billionaire, born in South Africa, business magnate and inventor amongst other things.

He’s currently the CEO of SpaceX, founder of Tesla Motors, Solar City and PayPal (although the last one’s debatable, he certainly was heavily involved).

As for the book? It’s a tough one. I’m only half way through and it’s fairly heavy going. I have a feeling the second half may be better as it will bring us up to date along with plans for the future. Not just his personal plans, but the planet’s… so perhaps worth paying attention.

It’s a bio rather than an auto-bio, ie. written by someone else about him, with his full cooperation and input. I prefer things written in the first person (even though I know people don’t often actually write every word in those circumstances, it’s ‘ghost written’, but still…) rather than someone wittering on about someone else.

“Being an Entrepreneur is like eating glass and staring into the abyss of death” ~ Elon Musk

I’m not much of a tech nerd… this book would be great for people who like the nitty-gritty of building rockets etc. I’m interested in the business acumen, the rise from not much, the shitty (yet, exciting) bit in the middle where they grind it out before becoming a success, then of course lapping it up when they make it.

Wild theories and ideas are always a bonus. Musk has a few of those, although not really so crazy when you look at it.


So, the jury’s out on the book but definitely worth a look if you are interested in the industries he’s involved with and/or intrigued by the man himself.


Until next week… stay hungry, stay foolish 😉

~ Adam

“I would like to die on Mars. Just not on impact” ~ Elon Musk

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