As I sit here writing this on my MacBook Pro, I’m reflecting on the ways Apple has changed my life. During the last decade, barely a day has gone by when I didn’t create or communicate using an Apple product. There’s no doubt that Steve Jobs changed the world.
But did he change it for the better?
An economist running the numbers on his iMac might argue that he did.
But that same economist would be less convinced if you introduced him to the Congolese mother who lost her sons in bloody coltan wars; if he met the African child who spends his days digging through mountains of toxic eWaste for a few saleable scraps; if he had to drink and wash in the water from one of China’s many polluted rivers, as the local people must.
So Tim, are you going to be OK with just following in Steve’s footsteps?
Will you be happy rolling out cool gadgets simple enough for babies to use? Hey, maybe you’ll even come up with some unique device. That’ll be great. I can’t wait to play with it.
But we don’t really need any more cool stuff. What we need is a leader.
We need someone who’s sick of pretending that their products don’t do any harm. Someone who doesn’t want their customers to feel guilty every time they play music or make a phone call. Someone who is sickened by the very idea of greenwashing. Someone who isn’t satisfied with moving the needle by tiny increments.
We need someone who will just break the damn needle and start again.
I think you are that someone, Tim.
You have it in your power to invent a new way of doing business. You could be the first person to change manufacturing since Henry Ford introduced the assembly line. You could be the man who finally says “You know what, big business doesn’t have to be a destructive force. Corporations don’t have to do evil to make money.”
You could be the guy who makes the first iPad without any dirty skeletons lurking behind its razor-sharp retina display.
If you do, everyone else will have to follow in your footsteps.
So what do you think, Tim? Are you up for it? Do you want to do what Steve Jobs never did?
Do you want to make the world a better place?
Jane Mountain at My Five Acres
Congo’s Bloody Coltan
Photo by me’nthedogs