The Innovative Thread...

in AppleOutsider edited January 2014
In this thread put down a little story about some time that you had to become more innovative, if you like...

The article below is about Steve Jobs talking to the Stanford University graduating class, and he talks about things that made him become more innovative, like dropping out of college.

"Dropping out suited me: Jobs

Palo Alto, California

June 14, 2005 - 11:11AM

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Apple Computer chief executive Steve Jobs has told Stanford University graduates that dropping out of college was one of the best decisions he ever made because it forced him to be innovative - even when it came to finding enough money for dinner.

In an unusually candid commencement speech, Mr Jobs also told the almost 5000 graduates that his bout with a rare form of pancreatic cancer re-emphasised the need to live each day to the fullest."


In college I had to become quite innovative to get what I wanted, as I had to get very good grades to qualify for a scholarship to study in New Zealand.

Some of those stories are long and complex but I would like tell you a simple one from when I was very young instead.

When I was in 8th grade I built a 7 foot pool table in shop class. I took it to a show/competition and took first place in my division because I did a good job on it.

My Grandfather really liked that and he arranged a dinner for me and the family at my Aunt's house and the Pastor of his church was there to make a big deal out of it.

My father was visibly jealous, during that dinner and it was the first time I noticed that sort of behavior from him. That summer I worked on the family farm in the orchards, full time for the first time. He was being very hard on me because I guess he wanted to indicate to me that I wasn't good enough, that I didn't get his approval.

I have eventually figured out that he is the kind of person that will not play a game unless he has some inside advantage, he won't play unless he can cheat, and his life reflects this.

One of the projects that I did that summer was to try out a new kind of fertilizer on the Avocados. It was 100 molar sulfuric acid that came in an 80 gal. jug.

He showed me the pumps and the soft rubber tank that I was supposed poor the acid into and keep full so that pumps would be supplied when irrigating. I could not lift the jug high enough to fill tank and when I asked how I was supposed to do it he told me build a special tool to do it with. I was tall for my age but just a little above average and I was not very strong, not used to working hard out in the fields yet.

I was always talking about inventing things and creating special tools in those days so that was where the comment about special tools came from.

I designed and built this completely on my own:

I found 3 steel pickets, you know the kind they use to make barbed wire fence, and took 1 and bent it into a circle with a torch, large vice, and anvil so that the Sulfuric Acid jug fit in it snugly. And I welded a handle and a bar onto it for a stop, and two bars that acted as an axle or pivot.

I blew a couple of holes at the top of the other two pickets so that the axles could go into them. Then went up into the orchard and pounded the pickets into the ground and bent them to hold the circle tightly next to the tank.

I had found an old platform that was a couple of feet high, just high enough to allow me to load my rack for poring the acid, and I put it under the rack.

So I tried it and it worked.

I was barely strong enough to lift a full bottle that high. I always had to loosen the lid and then budge it up between my body and the tank keeping on tugging until I could get it into the rack. Then unscrew the lib and poor it slowly. I always did it without any safety gear, I don't know if I had the gear but if I did I would not have used it because I could barely lift the bottle, putting gloves on and a face shield would have just made it more difficult.

I was also to young to protect myself that way, I just did not get it, I would have just turned 14 by then.

I got the job done for a couple of months without any problems.

The last time that I filled the tank I was in a bad mood and filled it too fast and high and it was splashing all over the place. Well, some acid splashed into one of my eyes.

Its a good thing I was very innovative that day, it was sprinkling at the time, and I yelled and stomped because it hurt, I was mad, and I ran over to nearest tree and rubbed the top face of some leaves on my eye because the leaves had a bit of water on them.

It worked I gathered just enough water to dilute the acid in my eye.

I never did that job again after that because my blue genes had been ruined by little holes all over them from the acid splashing on them, my Mother noticed this by now because all of my genes had many holes in them. She asked me what the cause was and after I told her she told my Dad that I was not to do that job anymore !!!

It took quite a few years but I finally realized that my Dad had been trying to kill me for many years by putting me in dangerous situations at work, its no big deal though he never succeeded, and besides he's just your average weasel that has been spoiled by having been given too much by inheritance and good will from relatives when he was young.


  • Reply 1 of 12
    gene cleangene clean Posts: 3,481member
  • Reply 2 of 12
    Well then.

    Is there anything left to say, after that?

    If anything, this story is a testament to a college which really gave a chance to someone whose exposure to chemicals at a young age left an indelible mark on him.

  • Reply 3 of 12
    omegaomega Posts: 427member
    All I can say is that he wanted to come to NZ, he is NOT a product of NZ.
  • Reply 4 of 12
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    I was interested to hear about your blue genes getting little holes in them from the acid.

    That's exactly why I laid off the blotter......
  • Reply 5 of 12
    onyx-pbonyx-pb Posts: 26member
    blue genes? plural? WOW! Based on the info here you had over 700 teraflops of processing power with you that day, you should have told your dad where to get off and gone and sold some processor cycles to the weather forecasters.

    No offence intended I just couldn't let the play on words go by.

    Q. Jeans / Genes isn't a heteronym - what is it... the word escapes me?
  • Reply 6 of 12

    Originally posted by onyx-pb

    Q. Jeans / Genes isn't a heteronym - what is it... the word escapes me?


    Sometimes it's hard to remember sexual orientation in grammar.
  • Reply 7 of 12
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member

    Originally posted by audiopollution


    Sometimes it's hard to remember sexual orientation in grammar.

    It's hard enough in real life.
  • Reply 8 of 12
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member

    Originally posted by Placebo

    It's hard enough in real life.

    Is that supposed to be some sort of homophonic remark?
  • Reply 9 of 12

    Originally posted by addabox

    Is that supposed to be some sort of homophonic remark?

    If he were talking about reel life, it would be.
  • Reply 10 of 12
    macchinemacchine Posts: 295member
    You all make it quite clear that I AM NOT THE BORING ONE !!!

    And since SJ told similar stories you think he is boring TOO.
  • Reply 11 of 12
    hardheadhardhead Posts: 644member
    Take it easy lad... They're just funning atcha. That's just how they "innovate".
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