Stephany Yong's Blog

Steve Jobs: Innovation from Technology to Philanthropy

Ever since the launch of the 2007 iPhone, Steve Jobs has given me something to look forward to in the world of technology. I watched the unveiling of every new product and had never felt so touched by a ten minute video of a man in a turtle neck showing me how to check email on this thing called a "smart phone."

He amazed me with the love and passion he had in his company and what he was contributing to the world. I am not one to pour over technology forums, but he kept me on my toes waiting for his next ground-breaking product, as watching the unveiling of the iPhone 4S was disappointingly empty without the symbolic face and black turtle neck of the Apple empire. Jobs gave us the compromise between function, beauty and lifestyle. I can attest to the fact that once you’re a Mac, you can’t go back.

And even beyond the Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Jobs inspired those “who are crazy enough to think they can change the world” to get out there and do just that—take an idea, perfect it and be fearless enough to fail. He has inspired entrepreneurs and dreamers like him to rethink the fields they work in, with Givology mirroring such innovation in philanthropy.

Although Jobs was a man of many layers, innovation was at his core. As revolutionary as the iPhone was, his greatest contribution to Givology and the students we sponsor was his leadership and management outlook.

His view on product development was how “people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” Just as Jobs defined how a customer would come to use his phone, laptop or tablet, Givology seeks to define how the giver views the impact of his dollar donation and his relationship with the student he is helping.

Like Apple dispelling the notion that technology was a guy with oversized glasses typing code on a computer, Givology is reinventing what it means to give. Gone are the days of big-dollar-check-writing philanthropy; leveraging dollar donations expands our base of givers, in which a coalition of our Internet community leverages several micro $5 donations that achieve a very macro effect.

Jobs studied the markets for inspiration, and Givology mirrored that. We looked into what hinders the power of giving: the hassles of monthly pledges and check-writing. And as we continue to grow as an international giving community, we will study what works and what doesn’t to facilitate the act that people want to do: give, inspire and educate.

Steve Jobs was a trailblazer in every sense of the word but still had an insatiable desire to improve, always researching what worked and simplifying the medium in order to highlight the message. His legacy of efficiency and fearlessness to give up the good to achieve the extraordinary inspires entrepreneurs to rock the world in a way only Steve Jobs could. Courage to push the envelope, the humbleness to learn from the experts, a sprinkle of ruthlessness to create a product you are proud of, and a dash of charisma. In the haze of the crazy, he picked out the genius. Rest in peace Steve.

The 10 Commandments of Steve


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