Monday, August 29, 2011

Steve Jobs: Parting Quotes For Today's Entrepreneurs |

Posted by Renee Oricchio@oricchio at 2:00 PM


By now you've likely heard that Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO of Apple and plans to continue as chairmen of the board.  COO, Tim Cook, who has filled in for Jobs in recent years during his various medical leaves while he first battled pancreatic cancer and then recovered from a liver transplant, will step in as CEO.

There is much to be analyzed and reported on regarding this announcement. Every newspaper, blog and tech news outlet in the world is weighing in right now with their take on what this means for Apple, the tech industry itself, Steve Jobs and his legacy.

In today's world of 2011, we tend to focus on only Steve Jobs, the CEO. The CEO of one of the largest companies in the world (tech or otherwise, keep in mind Apple just surpassed Exxon).  It's easy to forget he was once one of you, the audience we target-- the entrepreneur, the small business owner, the self-employed maverick going your own way.

MBA students will be studying Jobs the CEO for generations to come. But you and people like you, dear reader, will likly bump into Steve Jobs the entrepreneur for inspiration and wisdom for many years to come, as well.

I thought this would be a good time to share some of his best quotes from over the years; specifically sage wisdom for you, the David who dreams of one day being the Goliath.

Apply these words from the 90's to this economy

“The cure for Apple is not cost-cutting. The cure for Apple is to innovate its way out of its current predicament.”

On you and the other guys

"We're gambling on our vision, and we would rather do that than make "me too" products. Let some other companies do that. For us, it's always the next dream."

On selling your startup

“So when these people sell out, even though they get fabulously rich, they’re gypping themselves out of one of the potentially most rewarding experiences of their unfolding lives. Without it, they may never know their values or how to keep their newfound wealth in perspective.”

On attitude

“It’s more fun to be a pirate than to join the navy."

On resting on your laurels

“I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.”

On humility

“But it’s a disservice to constantly put things in this radical new light — that it’s going to change everything. Things don’t have to change the world to be important.”

On how innovation really happens

“But innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem. It’s ad hoc meetings of six people called by someone who thinks he has figured out the coolest new thing ever and who wants to know what other people think of his idea."

On quality

"Pretty much, Apple and Dell are the only ones in this industry making money. They make it by being Wal-Mart. We make it by innovation."

"Be a yardstick of quality."

On designing products

“Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works... To design something really well, you have to get it. You have to really grok what it’s all about. It takes a passionate commitment to really thoroughly understand something, chew it up, not just quickly swallow it. Most people don’t take the time to do that."

On pride in your work

(Regarding the Mac OS X ) “We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them.”

Should you rethink focus groups?

"It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

"You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new."

On creativity

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something.

The Tao of Steve

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future."

This is truly historic; a bookend to the end of an era in technology, business and pop culture. On a human level, let's hope Mr. Jobs is allowed many years to enjoy a well-deserved retirement. I will certainly miss writing about him.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Education Tech: Skype's Vision for a More Connected Classroom

by Sarah Kessler

Since becoming the CEO of Skype last October, Tony Bates has overseen the launch of a Wi-Fi hotspot service, a partnership with Facebook that produced the social network’s first video chat feature, and a pending acquisition by Microsoft.

Though it didn’t make as many headlines, Skype also launched its formal education initiative under Bate’s leadership. Skype in the Classroom, a dedicated teacher network, came out of beta in March with about 4,000 teachers already signed up. It now has more than 15,000 teachers sharing more than 779 projects on the site.

Mashable recently asked Bates about Skype’s new education initiatives and the developing education technology space. Bates will also be speaking at Mashable’s Social Good Summit in September.

Q&A With Tony Bates, CEO of Skype

What does video chat have to do with education?

The education process is moving beyond the traditional classroom/lecture setting. More and more teachers are seeking tools and techniques to engage their classes and enrich their lessons. Video calling is one of these tools, as it removes barriers to communication and lets students move beyond the boundaries of their classrooms. With Skype video calling, teachers can provide their students with first-hand knowledge from experts around the world and with other classes who are studying the same subject halfway across the world.

Personally, have you ever learned something via Skype that you wouldn’t have been able to learn without it?

Absolutely. One of my first days at Skype, my anxiety about not having a desk phone was quickly erased after I had a Skype (video) call with an important partner. [It] would have taken months to arrange a face-to-face physical meeting. The immediacy of video contact allowed the two of us to understand each other better and that really cemented for me the power of Skype. Every day at Skype, I am able to connect with employees from around the world and engage with them on a level that just is not possible through a conference call or email. When I speak to an engineer in Stockholm, he is able to talk me through a new product he is working on. The amount of education, in the most basic sense of the word, I receive on a daily basis through Skype amazes me. The technology is one of the reasons I wanted to join Skype and am eager to get Skype into every classroom around the globe.

Do you think that there’s still a resistance from schools when it comes to incorporating technologies?

There is always a certain amount of resistance when people try to introduce new technologies and methods of communication in any setting. The biggest cause of this resistance is usually a lack of awareness about ease of use and concerns about costs.

More broadly speaking, what are some applications of technology in education that you’re excited about?

There are a number of different technologies and applications that are being used right now that I am very excited about. One Laptop Per Child is a visionary program that is leveraging technology to make an impact on a global scale. Additionally, Blackboard is a company that is using enterprise technology to find ways to benefit students and teachers. Khan Academy is a truly exciting new method of … reaching students in new and exciting ways. Coming from Cisco and understanding the benefit of enterprise-level technology, I am always encouraged to see the ways enterprise technologies can be leveraged for the classroom.

What changes would you like to see in the way that schools implement technology?

I think an open dialog between educators, administrators and school districts would go a long way in removing the obstacles that are traditionally faced in introducing a new technology into a school or classroom. Many of the technological solutions that are available to teachers right now can be easily and affordably implemented in almost any setting. By working with school districts to educate their decision makers on the technologies that are available to educators — and exactly how they will benefit — would go a long way in increasing the rate of adoption in schools.