Because the answers are everywhere

I recently came across the commencement remarks that Steve Jobs delivered this past spring at Stanford University. The whole speech was great but one thing particularly caught my attention. After Jobs formally dropped out of college he decided to take some courses just because they interested him. One of these was a calligraphy class at Reed College. Jobs was inspired by the elegance of it all and the art and structure of calligraphy. Once it was over Jobs had absolutely no expectation that this knowledge would have any use or application in his life. But a decade later when he was involved with developing the Macintosh computer suddenly the calligraphy stuff "all came back" to him.  And they designed it into the Mac. Jobs said that " If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts". In a world of increasing specialization we often find ourselves thinking that we only have time to focus on the narrow bandwidth bottom line stuff. But in fact the seeds of innovation reside in unexpected places. The insight that Jobs derived from this and other similar experiences continues to shape his thinking to this day....the answers are everywhere.

Kris Kimel