Elizabeth Gilbert and Steve Jobs: Don’t Settle

by | Apr 29, 2014

You will no doubt have seen the Steve Jobs Stanford graduation address where he says "Don't settle". This is a hallmark of Steve Jobs. He never settled. In his private life. At Apple. At how he ran teams of people. At his expectations of himself. At his expectations of what he felt was possible.

So I thought of Steve while I was watching the inspirational story of Elizabeth Gilbert. She spent some of her life as a diner waitress while all she wanted to do was write. And she was rejected, and rejected, and rejected. But never gave up.

What is clear to me from the start-up world is that the one sure way to give up is to do exactly that: give up. However, hanging in there, persevering, trying and trying no matter how many times you fail, means you have a chance. And a chance is better than no chance. She says "Your home is that thing to which you can dedicate your energies with such singular devotion that the ultimate results become inconsequential".

And at what point do you say that failure is not your problem, it is the other person's problem for not realising greatness? It's a tricky one. The Design Thinking school would say that failure is your problem in that you were not empathetic enough with the customer. Steve and Elizabeth would say otherwise. But what is motivating about Elizabeth's talk is that she is writing not for the success or failure of the books - indeed, she expects some of her books to fail, as they have - but she writes for the love of writing.

Very inspirational. Watch it below

[ted id=1983]

Jeffrey Tobias

About Jeffrey Tobias

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well-known startups.

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Managing Director, The Strategy Group

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well known startups. Jeffrey’s corporate background includes leading global innovation strategy at Cisco, working with large corporates such as Adobe, Westpac, Telstra, Woolworths, and Perpetual.

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