A few months after Steve Jobs returned to Apple as CEO in 1997, after having been forced out in 1985. He introduced a new branding for Apple to increase the emotional connection with consumers. The ad campaign was called think different, And the first TV ad was called the crazy ones.
by the way the Big Short is a really pretty amazing movie the performances in the film particularly the performance of Steve Carell portraying Mark Baum (based on Steve Eisman) was exceptional. I have watched a few videos of Eisman giving speeches and Carell seems to have gotten his core perfectly. I’ll get back to the mortgage crisis and the big short later.
Jobs, in this advertisement, focused on the few, the really extraordinary individuals; people like Einstein, Gandhi, Earhart, and other really unique individuals who did something outstanding.
The point of the ad was that those people cool crazy enough to believe that they could change the world the ones that did.
But I have to ask if they really did change the world? In some of the most important ways no they didn’t. Ultimately, I think what we are seeing right now is it for true change to happen in the world, it Isn’t enough for a few people to think different. A new way of thinking, long term, more focused on equity and fairness, needs to spread up and down throughout our society.
One of the basic pathologies of our society one that ultimately lead to the 2008 crash is the massive inequality of income and wealth in this country. In order to hide the increasing income disparity interest rates were dropped to zero and people’s houses became ATMs. This caused the extreme over leveraging that triggered the crisis.
This pathology is not going away income inequality is as real today as before the crisis.
The other main pathology in our society is the preponderance of short-term thinking. Get us through the next day, the next quarterly report, the next election cycle, without real consideration of the long term impact of the actions that people take.
When I say it not just think different but think better that’s what I’m talking about I am talking about thinking sustainably I’m talking about thinking for the long term I’m talking about thinking about equity and fairness and that’s where we need to go.
The question is how?