The Uplifting Power of Human Interaction
Steve Wozniak was the technical brain behind Apple’s engineering marvels. But he had neither the interest nor the inclination to communicate, market, or make profit from his genius. It was the other Steve who gave the brand its appeal. Steve Jobs was not an engineer or a technical person. His genius was his ability to keep a pulse on the rising aspirations of society. He understood that most people were still afraid of the machine taking over the world and subjugating humans, and the intelligent machines – the computers – posed a risk to society. He branded the Apple computer, and the several hand-held devices that followed, as tools that would serve instead of subjugate. He marketed his products as utilities that empowered people. He packaged what was seen earlier as an intimidating machine as a status symbol. The technical genius of one man and the marketing genius of the other combined to create powerful and beautiful machines that serve us. Combining the complementary capabilities of Jobs and Wozniak gave birth to what would eventually become one of the most valuable companies in the history of the world.
Collaboration is an attitude and a value. It is an attitude when it is at the individual level. It becomes a corporate value when it is institutionalized in the organization. Jobs is often credited for innovation, but the spirit of what Jobs and Wozniak started personally has now been become a part of Apple Inc. The Apple culture is one of creativity and innovation, the founders’ leading characteristic has passed on to the company and become institution¬al¬ized. It continues to innovate and has recently taken up socially responsible initiatives, by introducing technology education in schools, bringing gender and race equality in the workplace, taking responsibility for sustainable practices throughout its supply chain and supporting philanthropic causes. In the measure that what the individual does is institutionalized in the company, it becomes a corporate value.
When more people are added to the equation, and can harmoniously fit in, as they did in the case of Sears, Roebuck and Company, collaboration raises one to the greatest heights