Business became more like sports or fashion: a topic of social conversation, a source of rooting interest and an expression of personal taste. The cultural, or even religious, war between Apple and Microsoft devotees would have been as inconceivable in 1981 as a “brand evangelist” or a corporate chieftain who appeared in public without a tie.
Now, by contrast, people far removed from the executive suite, working in entirely different companies or even completely different industries, have strong opinions about what strategies Apple or Microsoft or General Motors or Wal-Mart or Amazon should pursue.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work,” Jobs said in a 2005 Stanford University commencement speech, which has been much quoted in recent days. “And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”
That inspiring philosophy offers the promise of greatness and self-fulfillment, but also perpetual dissatisfaction. If business isn’t just about making money, if it is about finding a version of true love and leaving a cultural mark, the stakes are much higher. Your work becomes your identity.
Nobody ever asked why Steve Jobs kept working after he was rich. Everyone understood.
How Steve Jobs Made Business Cool Again
October 6th, 2011 | J.C.