Seth Godin tells us that innovation is about two things: 1) an invitation to failure and 2) solving interesting problems. As the passing of one of the world’s greatest modern innovators, Steve Jobs, leaves us wondering where our next amazing technological gizmo will come from, I am vexed by another question: Was Steve Jobs an Evolutionary?
There is no question that he was an Innovator. One of the best. A Titan among mere mortals. As I recently flew home from business in Washington DC I watched a documentary on the plane detailing all of Jobs’ failures, and then the problems he solved. Seth Godin would certainly approve! But, was Jobs an Evolutionary Innovator?
In Chapter Five of our book Evolutionaries, Chandra Brown of Oregon Iron Works, United Streetcar, and Vice Chair of President Obama’s U.S. Manufacturing Council, exemplifies the master-level Evolutionary Innovator. She was at the forefront of bringing critical manufacturing jobs like building streetcars back to the United States after 50 years of absence, and had the foresight to begin developing wave energy methods long before it was all the rage. But, all that just makes her a top notch innovator. Being an Evolutionary Innovator requires something more…
In the Chapter “The Code of an Evolutionary” we examine the soul of the Evolutionary individual. Evolutionaries don’t just change the world, they do so with the express intent of making the world a better place. Sure, they might like money, toys, winning, challenges, and fame too – but the critical difference between a business Titan, a ground-breaker, a game-changer, a visionary and the Evolutionary version of one of those individuals is that their primary driver is to leave a legacy that truly improves the lives of the next generation.
So, I ask: Did Jobs change the world for the better, or did he just change the world? We want to know what you think!