Sunday, December 4, 2011

Living the Busy Lifestyle

Hello Folks,

I've gotten gosh-darn busy lately. So many things are happening in my life right now and everything has something to do with Steve Jobs. Right! It is as strange to me as it sounds to you. I didn't even realize it myself until Jade pointed it out to me. So imagine this and follow along if possible.

In the same year Steve Jobs got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, so did my father. They both got the same surgery and in both cases it spread to their respective livers. Steve got a new liver, my father did not and died shortly there after. I didn't emote much when he died but I spent a lot of time getting to know him before he left. I was really busy with my life at the time so I'm quite surprised (and thankful) that I could make the time to spend with him as he was dying. Jade was pregnant with our daughter and I had just joined the board of the company that would eventually become the parent of everything that would ever produce.

Both of these men changed the world in their respective fields. Steve's products were a lot sexier and well known, but I assure you, if you needed one of by dad's inventions, you'd appreciate it a lot more than your iPhone, iPad, and even your Macbook Pro. They were also notorious for being absolute assholes. This seems a personality trait that is nearly impossible to avoid by anyone who obsessively pursues excellence in all that they create. I was well on my way to earning that title myself in nearly half-a-dosen industries myself. Nobody calls us into a project because they need someone who's easy to work with or because we're joyful beams of sunshine in the office. We're only called in when something needs to be created and only excellence will do. We get things done even when what needs to get done is something that is impossible to do.

When Steve had finally succumb to his own DNA writing bad copies of the source code, it upset me a lot more than I would have ever expected it to bother me. Surrounded by my wife and closest friends, it was Jade who first said, "This isn't about Steve. This is about your Dad." I think it was me who first said, "What's the difference?"The similarities between my father and Steve, both in life and death weren't the end of the "everything has something to do with Steve Jobs," statement that began this post.

Shortly thereafter I began reading Steve's biography. It is one of the most inspiring roller coaster rides I've ever consumed and plan on posting my review of it soon. At the very same time I was getting to the part of the book where Steve returned to save Apple like the parodical son, I was also returning to save a company that I started back in '94, led to overwhelming success, and subsequently left to the to pursue other interests. They did well without me for a while, but just like Apple, the company lost its way, its edge, and all that had made it provide excellence in all that it did. It is attrition, and it is natural for all things that don't get influence from driving forces to keep attrition from happening.

 Just last week I presented the company with the most epic Keynote presentation of my career, 111 slides that explained my promise to bring greatness, prosperity, and excellence back to the company. While my presentation was met with a thunder of applause, I wonder if that clapping will continue when they realize just what it will take to achieve what they've asked me to do. Nothing great is ever easy, and even though many of my slides made that point perfectly clear, saying it is one thing, and doing it is clearly another. They may appreciate what my return means to the bottom-line, they won't like the means that are necessary to get us there.

I miss this blog and I want to contribute more, but I'm so busy that the only way I'm ever going to get time to contribute is to hammer out something, as I am now at 1:19 AM on Monday morning. I hope it isn't complete shite as I'm too exhausted to even proof-read it.


  1. It sounds like you're getting ready to write Kidder's eulogy (or at least freeze him in carbonite) :(

  2. I miss your voice, stories and passion but I'm glad you're doing so well in life. Keep it up. Maybe someday we'll be reading your biography.