Steve Jobs – Brave does not begin to describe…

If you know me, you know the answer to the question “who would you have to dinner?” is Steve Jobs, it’s the answer I gave to a Nortel Networks workshop in 1998 and the answer I gave to the local newspaper when interviewed 3 weeks ago, much to the dismay of Mrs Philby.

Steve Jobs was and is my hero, he’s the person that has driven my ethos behind Chemistry from the very first day I started, holed up in my conservatory, in 2003.  He’s the reason I spent £100,000 (I didn’t have) developing the Chemistry brand (btw the best decision I made and the best money I ever spent).  He’s the reason why Chemistry have the high standards we have, the reason why we are known to challenge and innovate in a space bereft of new thinking, the reason we spend more on marketing than any company our size and continue to in the worst recession in living memory, the reason why I fuss and bitch over the slightest error in our communication or customer delivery. My intolerance of anything that affects our customers is down to Steve.One thing however above all else stands out, we have three values at Chemistry; Passionate, Brave and Human. Brave, putting USB ports in the first iMac, ditching the floppy drive, ditching Flash, removing CD drives, delivering your OS online only…the list goes on and on.  Even Tuesday, iPhone 4S is brave, not relinquishing to the cries for iPhone 5 when you weren’t ready. (I don’t buy that Steve or Apple is a manipulative capitalist monster, that’s lazy politics by people with 1/10th of the imagination/bravery of the Apple team. They do something because they believe it is the right thing to do.  Do I believe they are commercially savvy, absolutely!  Do i think money is the priority behind their decision making, definitely not)  Adopting Siri is brave,  it’s brave because frankly it’s probably not ready and the flak coming their way when the cynics and doubters get their hands on it will be deafening (remember the iPad!). However once again Steve went to the future and come back to help us mere mortals start towards the destination he lives in, Siri will redefine our relationship with technology, its the future today (again).

Steve taught Chemistry to be Brave, to challenge the status quo and act with utter conviction in the face of naysayers.

His affect on me has been profound, he’s defined my approach to clients, employees, marketing and the pace and tone at which my business works.  If not for Steve there would be no Chemistry, so today I am sad, truly deeply sad not because he made shiny, lovely things but because he set out to “ding the universe” and in doing so took people like me with him and without him the world just seems a little less “magical”…

Steve Jobs – Brave does not begin to describe…

  1. Gareth Jones says:

    Great post Roger. He was an icon and an influence on me too although my Jobs romance has been a lot shorter than yours having only really got to understand the man and the brand in the last couple of years.

    On the day of his death I, along with millions of other people, watched the stanford adress. I watched it a few months ago when someone pointed it out to me – we were discussing mavericks. As i watched it again, it made me weep. I found it very emotional.

    For me he represented what could be. He validated being different. I saw him as one of those rare leaders who you could point out in an argument with a johnny MBA. A reference point that doesn’t fit convention. Having people like him around gave me confidence to challenge, to believe that convention could be swept away.

    In a way he vindicated alternative thinking and losing him felt to me like losing a key member of the army against conventional thinking. Im a big believer in that passion, bravery and humanity but its a small club. When someone like him goes, life goes on, but ‘club nights’ are never the same. The stool at the bar is now empty.



  2. Roger Philby
    Roger Philby says:

    Gareth, hi

    Thanks for the comment. Funny thing is i always thought people who mourned over people they didn’t know were a bit weird (not that i have ever been described as normal) but there i was “winded” by the news. Sad day.


  3. James Gordanifar says:

    On the flip side Roger, Steve Jobs has inspired people like you to find some of that magic in themselves. I saw your article in the recruiter when I first began in recruitment in 2008 and that really inspired me to be better. I have in turn watched Chemistry develop, read your blogs and try to embody many of the qualities you so passionately speak about. So it sounds to me like his influence still lives on through the people he has inspired :-)

  4. Roger Philby says:

    James, hi

    You really are too kind!

    We must try and meet up at some point.



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