My obsession with Apple started when my friend Bill Dawson and his wife, Carla Ybarra-Dawson bought me an AppleTV one year. That was the beginning… now my kids have MacBook Pros and iPhones, my office is filled with Cinema Displays, iPads, another AppleTV, an iMac and a Mac Mini Server. Stop by our office sometime and check it out.
Many of my friends who made fun of me now have Apple… including Doug Theis, Adam Small, and Jenni Edwards. I didn’t talk them into it. In fact, most of the time, I had to defend the added expense. It’s because it’s not about the Apple Cult or trying to look cool or being anti-Microsoft (I like Microsoft!) or showing off that I spent a bunch more money than someone else did… it was because carrying around Apple hardware continued to inspire me to not compromise.
What Steve Jobs did with Apple stopped me from looking at a computer as a tool and began making me think of it as a paintbrush to make my mark on the world with.
I know that sounds hokey, but that inspiration exists. As I’ve grown my business, I’ve learned that every time I compromise, it’s like knocking a chip out of a work of art. Eventually, the company will look like some beat up, old, cheap chunk of crap. I don’t want my company to look like that. So I don’t compromise. I’ve lost some friends over it. I’ve lost a business partner over it. I’ve lost some clients over it. I miss all of them… but I know I was doing the right thing. My business continues to blossom and attract bigger and better clients. I have friends that stuck with me through it. I have other businesses that continue to put up with me ;). We all know we’re heading in the right direction.
Outside of the design of his hardware and software, every story I read about Mr. Jobs was that he would never compromise. Everything had to be done a little better, a little thinner, a little faster… EVERYTHING. Many folks close to him say he was a pain in the butt to work with… but they’d never trade anything for it.
I don’t have any grand visions of Highbridge being the next Apple, but even within my small network of friends, readers, and colleagues, I hope that I may make them think just a little bit different than others do.
Thank You, Mr. Jobs.