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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

iEvidence-The Life Chart of Steve Jobs

Steve has been in the news lately for the wrong reasons. His on-going battle with cancer has meant he has had to step down as CEO of the company he founded-Apple Inc. Although still Chairman of the Board, he has knighted his successor for the day-to-day role. Now I'm not much of an IT type (strictly home grown), so I decided to do some research on why Apple were putting an 'i' in front of products like an iPod? The answer for the iPod, was back in 2000 a consultant likened the new product to a scene from the movie '2001-A Space Odessey' it really stands for nothing in particular. However the whole world knows about it and uses it in everyday speech. That's kind of the exact opposite of 'Life Cycles'. It's known only to a small community, but it does represent something very important indeed: the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle known as 'The Meaning of Life'. That's a big claim I know, but each time I find straightforward evidence, it becomes harder and harder to just dismiss it out of hand. So, in honour of Steve Jobs, let's have a look at his Life Chart together and call it iEvidence.

Let's start with Steve's age 19 'Year of Broken Pathways' (Feb.1974 to Feb.1975). Were there any turning points and challenges? He had dropped out of college and had returned to California, attending weekly meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club and taking a summer job at Atari to get money to go to India. When he got to India he backpacked around, attended an ashram, became a Buddhist (which he still is) and returned with his head shaved. His best friend Steve Wozniak said:- "he was into everything hippy". There is no question, that according to him, this changed his direction and shaped his life. He also began his working career with computers. His challenge became how to integrate these values, a couple of years later, into his computing start-up company called Apple.

Now let's skip forward to his first age 24 'Year of Revolution' (Feb.1979 to Feb.1980). What sort of upheaval and new age happened then? This was not the founding of Apple, as this had already happened, but it was the birth of the Macintosh project (in Sept.1979) and the accidental discovery by Jobs of the thing that changed personal computing forever. He made a visit to Rank Xerox's research facility in Palo Alto (in Dec.1979), where he saw the 'mouse-driven graphical user interface' and had the now widely-reported and legendary epiphany about how to incorporate it into the Mac. I know, I know. I'm beginning to sound like a geek, but that's because I need to inhabit my subject's world, whoever they are. These fateful breakthrough moment's are exactly what characterises a 'Year of Revolution'.

OK, so far so good, now where to next? The answer is always straight to his age 31 'Year of Broken Pathways' (Feb.1986 to Feb.1987). What was the turning point and challenge in his life then? Well he had just left the company he founded due to management issues (he returned to Apple in 1996) and an opportunity to purchase Pixar (the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm) came up. This went on to lose Jobs quite a large amount of money in development for the first few years, but it also went on to make him his first billion. It was also in this year that the Pixar short animation 'Luxo Jr.' had it's world premiere. Is this enough of a new direction and challenge? Does it meet every definition of 'Year of Broken Pathways' including the several years of an uphill struggle? You betcha.

Now let's try his age 36 mid-life 'Year of Revolution' (Feb.1991 to Feb. 1992). What was the upheaval and new age then? This period was dominated by two events. The first was his Buddhist marriage to Laurene Powell, by whom he has three children, the first one being born about six months later. The second was the signing of an agreement with Disney Studios in May,1991 to produce six animated feature films. Each of these films has gone on to sweep across the US and the rest of the world, producing great wealth as well as awards and honours. Jobs went on to become Disney's largest shareholder, with a seat on the Board. Can you see his commercial success spelled out in capital letters in each 'Year of Revolution'? Age 24:- Birth of 'The Apple Mac. Era.' Age 36:-Birth of 'the Disney/Pixar Era.' It's plain as the nose on your face.

I can do more of course, but I'm running out of puff. Now here is your question. What is more important at the end of the day:- the Apple letter 'i' in iPod, which means effectively nothing, or the highly statistically significant 'Life Cycles' theory, which is largely unknown but contains an enormous wealth of meaning? You be the judge. Till we meet again:- "May the cycles always bring you good fortune".

Friday, September 16, 2011

Just Who's Revolution Is It Anyway? - US Open Men's Final-Djokovic v. Nadal

Hi to everyone! I've been immersed in the epilogue for 'The Life Cycles Revolution', so I haven't been very active with the blog. However I want to change all that and give you this post as a bonus extra for September-the main story will follow. This is really by way of showing you 'Life Cycles' theory in action. My attention was originally drawn to a comment by Most Profound (who has one of my favourite blogs and is also one of my favourite people on Blogoshere), when he left a comment on my post on Djokovic saying :- "It will be interesting to see how the future goes for him". Because I often take the long view, I was thinking of his next 'significant year', which was seven years away. Of course the comment was made post-Wimbledon, but pre-US Open, so I along with many others took a close look at this prestigious tournament.

In order to understand anything from a 'Life Cycles' perspective you have to ask what happened to the person in their last 'significant year'. This is very straightforward. When I saw Nadal cruise his way through to the final by brushing aside World No. 4 Andy Murray, I asked myself 'How old is he?'. The answer was 'he was 25' (born 3rd June, 1986). So what were things like for him when he was aged 24 (3rd June, 2010 to 3rd June, 2011)? The first fact I noticed, is that in this year he regained the World No.1 ranking by winning his 5th French Open title. This occurred when Federer lost to Soderling in the quarters, so things were working for him. He held it for the rest of this 12 month period, in spite of his losses to Djokovic. He next won Wimbledon and the US Open, clinching the year end No.1 title. He ended the year winning 3 Slams, 3 Masters and edging out Roger Federer for the first time for the Sportamanship Award (which he had held for the last 6 years). It was described by commentators as 'an incredible season'. Will history see it as a high-water mark? Too soon to tell, but it was a career peak and he was on top. This was all in his 'Year of Revolution'. Where was 23 year-old Novak Djokovic then? It was all Nadal and Federer.

Now you all know that Novak turned 24 in May, 2011 and I already covered what happened to him in the Wimbledon Final. He was now indisputably World No.1 and he simply outplayed Rafa that day. It was now his 'Year of Revolution'. His turn in the sun. So now to Flushing Meadow. Things did not look good in the semi-final against Roger, who had been playing superb tennis and had the crowd behind him. He won the first two sets and was leading 5-3 in the fifth with 40-15 and 2 match points. What chance Novak? You'd have no takers on Sportsbet I'd reckon. Then in Novak's own words :- "I decided to gamble it all on a service return. These shots go out as much as they go in." He returned a Federer 180km first serve with a crashing forehand to win this critical point. Roger went on to lose the game and the set and the match from here. This is the power of the 'Year of Revolution'. This is the fateful turning point, when the tide is at its fullest. He had such a moment at Wimbledon as well if you remember.

So now to the Men's Final. Just who's 'Year of Revolution' was it anyway? Rafa tried supremely hard throughout this scintillating final, full of tennis at the very highest level. He rallied and won the 4th set tie-break, but it did him no good at the end of the day. Novak had his measure. He is now talked of as the better all-round athlete (something Rafa held unopposed last year). He is agile and tough and his attitude is solid. Stay in the moment and don't get temperamental. There is no doubt it's Novak's year. He's on top. Yes it's his Revolution.

If you think I'm just lucky or I only point out the good stuff, just wait till you read my devastating evidence in 'The Life Cycles Revolution'. I actually lay an open challenge to the sceptics to prove me wrong! No other theory can or would be able to do this, I'll be back soon so don't go away.