Early one morning, when Steve Jobs arrived at his desk at Apple *, he noticed an e-mail on his laptop screen and had the uncomfortable feeling that it would not be his typical day. It was from Thomas Edison and it read …
Dear Mr. Jobs:
Congratulations on your Mac, iPad and iPhone devices. My buddies and I, up here in the “Cloud”, really love their simplicity of operation. For quite some time I have been watching your company, impressed with the speed of your product development.
My early work in telegraphy and later recorded sound and motion pictures was pretty primitive compared to Apple products. I still have lunch with Ben Franklin and Alexander Bell on occasion and we are shocked at how fast wireless phones have taken over.
How you pack recorded sound, motion pictures and all sorts of other visual and communication things [I think you call them Apps] into your portable devices! That is what invention is all about, pulling a multi-disciplined team together, being the first to do something everyone says is impossible and then selling it profitably.
I hear technology companies have difficulty finding good talent. I had that problem too and even composed a special test for new potential hires to take [take the test yourself here]. Maybe Apple could partner with my friends at the Edison Foundations [www.ThomasEdison.org]. They have been working with teachers to bring the excitement of invention, problem solving, entrepreneurship and green technologies into the classroom.
I miss my “muckers” R&D team and all the great inventive times we had. I loved failing the most, because we learned so much and that just intensified the search for answers. I adopted this motto for the “muckers” to live by…… “Fail your way to success.” Judging from what I observe, you already are well aware of how invention, teamwork, leadership and some failures along the way, work to Apple’s benefit. [Our Apple stock is doing fine, helping to grow our 401k’s up here very nicely—thank you!]
Stop by my recently renovated lab in West Orange, NJ and have a look around. I would like to see an Edison-Apple Innovation Center, right next to my West Orange digs. Buffet, Gates and even Zuckerberg will be envious.
Let’s have a face-to-face real time call when you are free. I just received an iPhone 4-G and am itching to use the Apple Face Time App.
* Apple, Mac, iPad, and iPhone are Trademarks of Apple, Inc.