Startups

Henry Ford to Steve Jobs

Lately, I have found myself gravitating towards these two men and their profound influence. I also just happen to be reading their autobiography and biography simultaneously. On purpose. The reasoning behind this came from a recent discovery that a quote/idea that I had been crediting to Steve Jobs, was originally said by Henry Ford! This blew my mind. I came to find through a perusal of internet facts that most modern day business ideas and standards of innovation are all a throw back to Henry Ford. Pardon if this knowledge is widely common and I have simply been in the dark…but WOW. The amazing thing is, I really don’t think that most people realize what they are doing; they may never have even read about Henry Ford, but are paraphrasing and re-quoting him nonetheless. I believe that my error is also common, as Henry Ford did not have the internet, YouTube or Twitter. All of his ideas are preserved in only a few literary tomes; and as wonderful as books are, unless they are on the New York Times Bestseller List, they do not have an expansive reach. (and even then)

I am only on the very first chapters of both biographies, Steve Jobs and My Life and Work (free on your Kindle btw!) But I am excited to read about them both. At this moment, of course, I am more familiar with the life and work of Steve Jobs, as he is a modern and wide-spread phenomenon. In terms of the book, from what I have digested so far, I can tell you with certainty that I identify with Steve Jobs, he is an inspiration to me, in the way in which someone who speaks your language and repeats your thoughts can underscore and enhance your belief and ability to pull them forward. He was far from a perfect man, manager or product developer; but he had a vision, a really kick ass vision and a vision the he himself didn’t even fully understand the magnitude of. He screwed it up, a bunch of times; made the wrong choices, said the wrong things…but he was a passionate, unique and brilliant human being who constantly saw beyond the status quo. People call him a genius, they do not call him a saint. I dream that someday, the world will say even a minor offshoot of that, about me (though his genius and mine do not begin to compare).

Here are a few nuggets that have already caught my eye:

“Almost any one can think up an idea. The thing that counts is developing it into a practical product.”—Guess who?….Henry Ford

Why I love the guy:

“As things are now organized, I could, were I thinking only selfishly, ask for no change. If I merely want money the present system is alright; it gives money in plenty to me. But I am thinking of service. The present system does not permit of the best service because it encourages every kind of waste–it keeps many men from getting the full return from service. And it is going nowwhere. It is all a matter of better planning and adjustment.” -Henry Ford

“Some mistakes will be made along the way, but that’s good, because at least some decisions are being made.” -Steve Jobs

I say, let’s all try a little bit harder to embrace our inner crazy, misfit, rebel and reject the status quo. Because…

“Those people crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”               –  Apple II/Think Different

Your Rebel,

Megan

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Equal Opportunity Excitement = Success

ARCHIVED March 25, 2011

The past two evenings were pretty exciting. In the very academicy – businessy kind of way! But also in the super rewarding and personally educational way as well. Theater Connects went on the road to Columbia University and New York University, back to back.

Last night Theater Connects was an invited employer to the Columbia University Media Networking Night. Other than the fact that my name was spelled incorrectly on my name tag, which was partially my own darn fault, it was pretty good! A little bit insane, as we (companies) were separated by colors and tables with large banner signs were placed throughout the large hall of Low Library. I was in the Online and New Media group, also the Entertainment Group. I’d say for the first 30 minutes, employers were talking amongst themselves…because we couldn’t really see any students (people without nametags) anywhere….but lo and behold within the next half hour, movement was barely possible!! The students had these nice little guidebooks to tell them what companies were supposed to be in which sections, so they would come and find you.

Unfortunately, I did not have a whole lot to offer most of the students who came my way….apparently everyone is a writer nowadays. They all asked me about writing for Theater Connects….but I had to tell them that pretty much everything on the site is user generated content. However, I met two great videographers who I may use in the very near future and 2-3 students who actually fit my intern profile. By the way, my intern profile is simply this: Excited, Intelligent, Awesome. If you fit those categories, I could probably use you. If you are excited about the start-up environment and about Theater Connects…how could I not?? Some days….it feels like those are the only two skills that I personally possess!! It’s a roller coaster of a business and as fellow female founder recently told me: “Everyday you pretty much realize how stupid you are.” God I love this business!! Figuring out how stupid you are gives you an open opportunity to learn.

Which is a nice segway into this evening which was entirely different, as I sat on a panel with 5 other professionals in the Cultural and Performing Arts at NYU. This time there was a big long table separating us from the students and grads, there were microphones and name placards like you are sitting in congress. The students sat at tables…which was nice as they were serving food and it is always awkward to try and eat in your lap. Everyone did an intro and I had to come right after the guy with the PowerPoint and the girl with the puppet. Not kidding. Therefore I prefaced my 7 minutes to speak with the fact that I was definitely going to be dull in comparison!! I gave a bit of advice on ‘Not waiting to be chosen, but choosing yourself”, how to overcome your internal fear that is holding you back and ‘if you’re not being rejected on a daily basis, you’re goals aren’t ambitious enough.’ But…..segway to the audience question period  and I was thrilled when someone actually directed a question at me! It was like ‘what, who?’ ‘really?’—my experience of the night was again with writers…but this time it was the kind of writer I understood and actually stood a chance at helping in anyway: The Playwright.

What was amazing to me at the end when speaking with another playwright, who was asking my advice on what to do after graduation and how to ‘get her career in gear’ (as the seminar was called). And I honestly had to sit there and say “you know what? It kind of sucks.” There is really nothing full-proof or proven to tell a playwright to go do to get their work noticed…I mean there are a few…but even then the numbers aren’t very good.

So with the students, it totally came around to Theater Connects…the reason I started the project in the first place. To give these new grads and talented artists ACTUAL ANSWERS.  TO GIVE THEM A RESOURCE, A PATH, A PLACE TO ‘POUND PAVEMENT’ AND MAKE THEIR OWN RESULTS.  The best piece of advice I gave her was to go out and find a director who loves your work. Yes, a producer will be the one to book a venue and get you a team and a production, but a director can help you work on the script. A playwright and director can easily put up a reading together. So 1) don’t jump ahead of yourself. really work on your script until you can actually be confident it is ready for performance and 2) the director will be just as excited as you!! they will be thrilled to have found a playwright whose work they love!! It is equal opportunity jazzed. A shared passion and excitement could really take you both places.

How can she find said director? No actual answer there. But before next year, I will be able to tell her exactly how to find the director, how to submit her work and even what kind of director she should be seeking. I could give out strategy and resources and educational options.

THAT IS WHAT THEATER CONNECTS IS ALL ABOUT.

Give the next generation some REAL answers about why and how to make it in the theater world. A place to go, a resource to use and people to learn from!

I’M JAZZED. LET’S DO THIS.

MJZ