"If I see it, I understand it."
- Dr. Temple Grandin
"Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they really didn't do it; they just saw something."
- Steve Jobs
As an Apple techie since childhood, a pediatric speech therapist/autism specialist, and a female entrepreneur, it has been a memorable week. The world saw people standing in long lines outside of Apple stores, and saw mobile devices sporting iOS 7. We avidly watched how-to videos posted on tech-news websites. We eagerly looked over the new user interface to see how it works, and helps us get our work done. We excitedly snatched up the iPhone 5S, and many like myself, have now been wait-listed, biding our time until the new shipment arrives.
Speaking of Apple and biding time, the Aspen Time Tube aka the Steve Jobs Time Capsule, was finally located and unearthed. People can now see the mouse Steve Jobs used in 1983. According to CNET writer Daniel Terdiman, there's more to be seen from what was dug up. "In addition, there was a script from an episode of NBC's Hill Street Blues; a 1983 Sears Roebuck catalog; two Rubik's Cubes; a Kodak Instamatic camera (no word on whether it contained any usable photos); a rotary telephone; and VHS tapes of the design conference and the time capsule burial ceremony."
The launch of iOS 7 and the subsequent, timely location of the Steve Jobs Time Capsule got me thinking. About part/whole relationships, a rudimentary skill taught to young children first developing language. About seeing the "Big Picture," from a female entrepreneur's point of view.
Upon further examination, I've come to realize that Apple's iOS 7 represents the continued human quest to see and understand, thereby attaining a more seamless work/life balance. There are several unique features which can teach us important lessons, as can the items deemed "worthy" of occupying space in the time capsule, together with that vintage mouse from 1983. If you look at the contents, it all boils down to what's considered important enough to record and preserve for humanity in terms of the perpetual work/life balance seesaw; shared vision and communication. The chosen items represent both a way to see the world and a way to communicate that shared vision, such as the story of Hill Street Blues, the rotary phone, and the Sears catalog. The fact that a camera and Rubik's Cube were also included suggests to me that play, even for an adult, is an integral part of creatively attaining that elusive work/life balance. It also suggests that one's perceptions and visual memory can both affect and be affected by one's reality distortion field resulting from a person's individual Theory of Mind.
How we see things shapes our psyche and formulates our reactions to the world around us and those in it. It teaches us lessons, which I want to share:
Lessons from iOS 7 -- Entrepreneurial Traits to Hone:
1. Vision is one of the most important starter traits for entrepreneurship, but the eyes can be fooled. That's why adding audio to FaceTime is such a boon. A female entrepreneur needs to take some risks and have vision, yet still carefully tread the line between "what is" vs. "what could be." Having a mentor, and talking things over without the visual hype can help you walk that fine line and hear the essence of the message, hammer out details, and not get derailed by grandiose schemes about your Big Picture.
2. Focus is the most crucial attribute for a female entrepreneur to have, especially in today's fast paced, competitive, multi-tasking startup culture. One that still makes few allowances for women continuously balancing work and family obligations. That's why increasing/decreasing contrast for Notification Center and Control Center, and having the ability to "swipe" downward on any page to access Spotlight, is such a time saver! A female entrepreneur needs to juggle several balls in the air while still completing tasks and projects efficiently and in a timely manner.
3. Collaboration is still the key component of successful entrepreneurship. It fosters good will, problem solving, and even appreciation of the individuality and viewpoint each team member "brings to the table." The spirit of collaboration has officially been brought to the tablet, through Air Drop, iSight camera filters, and even tweaks to Siri's voice and capabilities. These features show that the whole IS greater than the sum of its parts, but that the individual puzzle pieces are unique and not forgotten.
As a seasoned educator, speaker, and team player, and a visual learner myself, I am particularly excited about the visually innovative and elegant user interface of iOS 7, and what it means to my Big Picture. It makes me start to think about which personality traits I would save in a virtual time capsule. Which grownup tools and toys I would deem worthy, and what I would now discard, thanks to Apple, Inc.
I would save the iPhone 5S with iOS 7, but not preserve my childhood Sony Walkman, and my adulthood's PowerPoint software, both banes of my existence until the iPhone and Keynote came along. But don't just take my word for it; read Dan Roam's Ode to Pictures.
Here's to the power of the Big Picture and to creatively preserving its memory. What's in your time capsule?