As I was reading through a series of blogs from my Google reader, I came upon this post (Steve Jobs' 10 Secrets to Building a Huge Empire) by Manish Pandey, a tech enthusiast and blogger. It basically goes on to talk about notable quotes from Steve Jobs and how they can apply to our jobs and the lives we lead...

Here are a few of the quotes that facinated me the most:
  1. To Build up Confidence
    We don’t get a chance to do that many things, so every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die, you know?"
    Steve Jobs is confident in whatever decisions he makes and he talks about what has taken him to great heights. He also insists all of us to be good to the heart as our lives are short and death can arrive at any time.
  2. On Confidence and Creativity
    That happens more than you think, because this is not just engineering and science. There is art, too. Sometimes when you’re in the middle of these crises, you’re not sure you’re going to make it to the other end. But we’ve always made it, and so we have a certain degree of confidence, although sometimes you wonder."
    People are terrified at times. However, those that make choices based on real criteria, regardless of the conceptual nature of them, can confidently stand behind them and are able to shake off the uncertainties that arise.
  3. On the Experience as a User
    Our DNA is as a consumer company – for that individual customer who’s voting thumbs up or thumbs down. That’s who we think about. And we think that our job is to take responsibility for the complete user experience. And if it’s not up to the par, it’s our fault, plain and simple."
    User satisfaction is not just for business owners. Your boss could be considered as a user of your output. By mastering your trade and ensuring a complete and accurate output (albeit a report, a design, an article, etc.), your 'users' will be happy and reward you with continued business.
  4. On Focus
    People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.
    The real meaning of focus is not the simple yes. Instead, it is all about the ideas which are imparted by picking and sorting the best out. Careful detection and estimation of your plans and the ideas and strategies taken to implement them are what Steve Jobs is talking about.
  5. On Passion
    When I hire somebody really senior, competence is the ante; they have to be really smart. But the real issue for me is, are they going to fall in love with Apple? Because if they in love with Apple, everything else will take care of itself.
    This comes down to passion. When you have passion for what you do, good results and dedication are sure follow. Identifying your passion is difficult but once there, work is no longer work. As a worker, find and live your passion. As an employer, get employees to really see the vision and their role in taking the company there.
  6. On Leadership Qualities
    So when a good idea comes, you know, part of my job is to move it around, just see what different people think, get people talking about it, argue with people about it, get ideas moving among that group of 100 people, get different people together to explore different aspects of it quietly, and, you know – just explore things."
    Cisco Systems had a great motto at one point that read, "We are stronger together than we'll ever be apart." Many times, good ideas are made great by seeking input from others. By surrounding yourself with people that you'd admit are smarter than you, greatness has a chance.
  7. On Product Tactics
    It’s not about pop culture, and it’s not about fooling people, and it’s not about convincing people that they want something they don’t. We figure out what we want. And I think we’re pretty good at having the right discipline to think through whether a lot of other people are going to want it, too. That’s what we get paid to do.
    This is about legitimacy. Getting paid is great but executing on a long term vision based on demand is a true art.
So in my own work, as we go about developing WeAreTeachers or "I Am Teacher" in Facebook, I look at these and the one that resonates with the most is #7. While the culture of social media, and Web 2.0 can seem to be pop culture, it really does fit a need and addresses what people/teachers want. People want to stay connected, they want to share, collaborate and engage with others this applies to teachers or other professions as well. As a former classroom teacher, there many times I would have liked to share and learn from more veteran teachers and to gather best practices and gain insight to pedagogical strategies. Additionally, I would have liked to have gathered tried and true resources or purchase items for my class that others had recommended. This idea and others was a need that was out there. We have worked with numerous educators, associations, businesses, bloggers, Web 2.0 geeks and others to build a social and business network that can address this need. Everyone is a teacher in some respect; we all impart knowledges to others and we all have a notion of creating, sharing and seeing if others think what we have to say or offer is beneficial to others. Our feareless leader and former math teacher, Sandy Fivecoat, always reminds us why we are here doing this and that is... because teachers have value and we always should have their best interest first and foremost. I think we are well on our way to building a great community.
I guess all of these quotes are applicable in the business of WeAreTeachers and what we are collectively building: focus, lead, giving teachers what the want & need and most importantly be passionate about what you do. Like no other profession, teachers are passionate about helping kids succeed. Our passion is to help teachers by giving them a community where they can connect and collaborate and earn for their knowledge and expertice. I hope you take some time to learn more or sign up as a member.

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Tags: 2.0, classroom, collaborate, community, mac, network, pc, social, technology, weareteachers, More…web, widget

Comment by Andrea May on October 12, 2008 at 2:28pm
I really like the quote about focusing. “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.” This can really apply to teaching. The way I interpreted it was from an organizational type of standpoint. A person can't do eveything, so they must say no to the things that are least important to them. Even if it may be hard to turn something down, sometimes it has to be done for the sake of getting everything else in our busy lives done.
Comment by John Costilla on October 13, 2008 at 5:40am
Completely agree. Thanks for sharing Andrea...

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