Steve Jobs “you can not connect the dots forward”

Steve Jobs’ gave a commencement speech to Stanford graduates in June 2005. I listened to the speech and their was this idea he discussed about not being able to connect the dots forward. That everything he had done in his life, in some way, had prepared him for creating Apple. An example he gave in the speech was the fact that he really did not like college. One of the few classes he took in his only year of college was a calligraphy class. He said he really like calligraphy. The preciseness of writing each letter, the space between each letter and the importance of how each letter looked grouped together to make words. Who knew that the calligraphy class would be a pivotal element in the creation of the Mac? His experience in that class lead him to demand that the fonts and screen of the Mac have white space, a pleasing to the eye font as well as other design elements. When we look back, it is easy to connect the dots. The simple ‘oh that’s why this happened’ or ‘that’s why I went through this particular experience,” leading us to what we are doing today – those dots can be located and mapped. However, taking today’s actions and predicting forward is the challenge. Before the iPod came about, did Steve Jobs sit in his office and say “I’m going to create an iPod” or did he follow a zigzag path to get to the iPod? Is this visionary or just following what interests you? I’m not one hundred percent sure, however, I’m glad he took that calligraphy class.

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