For those of you who haven’t seen Steve Jobs’ commencement address at Stanford from last month, here’s a link to it, some nice Sunday reading. Someone sent it to us — it’s been making the rounds on the ‘net, and it’s just great, full of messages of fate, love, loss, and innovation. As the drivers of innovation in this country, this holds special meaning for manufacturers everywhere. His story is shared by so many of our manufacturers, who all took a chance, many of whom gambled it all.
It reminds us of the story of the 13 year-old girl who was touring a 90-foot yacht owned by a small manufacturer and NAM Board member. He had worked hard his whole life, mortgaged his family to the hilt to buy his own business years before, and all the hard work had paid off. He rewarded himself with this yacht. He gave the girl — the daughter of a friend — a tour of this magnificent vessel, and she was clearly in awe. When they were done with the tour, she looked at him, and her freckled face smiled in wonder. “How do you get a boat like this?”, she asked.
He looked down at her and smiled back, thought only a moment about his long and rocky course before answering. “First,” he said, “You go to school and study engineering.”
As Steve Jobs says, “Stay hungry, stay foolish”. It just might be the manufacturers’ creed.
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