10.21.11 macbookpro

Remembering Steve Jobs – Build a tribe and make it easy to join

Every employee in our company gets a Mac (whether they want it or not!) and the reason is simple – the MacBooks are our calling card.  Yes, we have a segment of the workforce doing hard core design and the Mac is essential for Illustrator, video work , etc.  But, for the rest of the staff, where any machine could work – we very much want clients (most of whom MUST use the standard PC) to see our team and our staff representing the design community by using a different tool.

For me, as a leader who has spent my career around the DoD and Federal government, there is a little more to the story.  NAVAIR (Naval Air Systems Command) is the place I spent my early career. In a Navy organization of over 38,000 people across eight different cities around the country in the mid 90’s, nearly half of the desktop computers were Macs.  I believe that NAVAIR was the most innovative, out of the box, community-oriented military command of its kind at that time.  The Mac was symbolic to many of us of the tool of choice that sparked creativity, productivity, and in the very early, pre-internet (pre-netscape at least) era, it was the best way to help tie our organization together in many ways (thank you, Appletalk).

Later, the Navy decided to move away from the Mac as the workplace computer,  which was a key reason for leaving the Navy when I did.  So, it gives me great pleasure to be able to bring great design, help the Navy, and have a small tribe of Macs march in and out of DoD offices each day.  Steve built a community, and he gave it the tools to stay connected and made it so easy for us to join. (If you want to create your own community or tribe, Seth Godin’s great book, Tribes, would be my recommended reading for how to do this for your product or organization.)

As a loyal member of the apple community, to say that I’ll miss Steve Jobs is an understatement.  I am encouraged by the fact that so many are moved by his accomplishments and do believe his DNA will live on at Apple.  Our everlasting appreciation of Steve’s innovative life simplifying tools and simple design aesthetic are our daily homage to the greatest CEO of our time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *