My obsession with Apple started when my friend Bill Dawson and his wife, Carla Ybarra-Dawson bought me an AppleTV. That was the beginning… now my kids have MacBook Pros and iPhones, and my office is filled with Cinema Displays, iPads, another AppleTV, an iMac, and a Mac Mini Server. I’ve also accumulated quite a collection of Apple devices (that still work!).
Many friends who made fun of me now have Apple… including Doug Theis, Adam Small, and Jenni Burton. I didn’t talk them into it. Most of the time, I had to defend the added expense. It wasn’t about the Apple Cult, trying to look cool, 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 not to compromise.
Steve Jobs had everything to do with that.
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.Douglas Karr
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 business partners 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 who stuck with me through it. I have other companies that continue to put up with me. We all know we’re heading in the right direction.
Outside of his hardware and software design, every story I read about Mr. Jobs was that he would never compromise. Everything had to be done a little better, thinner, and faster… EVERYTHING. Many folks close to him say he was a pain to work with… but they’d never trade anything for it.
I don’t have any grand visions of my company 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.