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我們一起向賈伯斯學到的人生課程

2012/02/09 5:19 pm 明道 

倘若說 Walter Isaacson 《賈伯斯傳》筆下的蘋果創辦人賈伯斯 Steve Jobs 的自傳,是矽谷版的經典電影《大國民》(Citizen Kane),意即一個男人犧牲了一生中的所有一切,只是為了成就蘋果公司,那麼老賈傳記所希冀彌補的不光只是其所失去陪伴家人、並讓小孩能夠瞭解他的機會,還能有著讓其他商業人士深深參考的正面價值。 怎麼說呢?部落格作家 Jason Kottke 注意到一個最近發生在科技產業、看似有趣但又令人感慨的情況,那就是許多科技產業的創業者並非將《賈伯斯傳》當成是步向成功的藍圖,而是將之視為一個活生生血淋淋的警告。 Kottke 報導了四個案例,案例中的四位主角在讀完老賈自傳後,都決定全然或局部地捨棄工作,讓自己擁有更多時間能夠陪伴家人,因為他們唯恐如老賈那般永遠失去陪伴家人的機會,還得透過傳記來讓自己孩子將來有機會能夠認識自己的父親那樣的悲哀。 

Kottke 首先分享的案例是 Stack Exchage 的共同創辦人 Jeff Atwood , Stack Exchage 旗下的 Stack Overflow 是十分知名的程式設計師社群與問答網站。雖然看似後勢大有可為,但 Atwood 已經決定交棒,並透露說《賈伯斯傳》是他做出如此重大決定的主要原因。 Atwood 在「Farewell Stack Exchange」中分享:「新創公司的生活與家庭實在難以兩全。我們家剛迎來兩位新成員,對於擁有多個幼小子女的父母來說,只能盡力相伴與照顧。老賈的過世與其傳記告訴許多人,成功需要承擔不能陪伴家人的風險。 Stack Overflow 與 Stack Exchange 已經十分成功,但我最終才理解到,以孩子作為成本所獲得的成功,並非是成功,那是失敗。」 

原文是:「Startup life is hard on families. We just welcomed two new members into our family, and running as fast as you can isn’t sustainable for parents of multiple small children. The death of Steve Jobs, and his subsequent posthumous biography, highlighted the risks for a lot of folks. [...] Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange have been wildly successful, but I finally realized that success at the cost of my children is not success. It is failure.」

Atwood 也提及了另外一位創業者 Brad Wardell ,他在「What I learned about life from Steve Jobs」中講述:「在過去幾年,我公司已是十分成功,可以籌集到相當可觀的資本。以這些資金讓我得以廣徵人才。然後我開始思考所有能夠實行的偉業。當然,我將花上龐大的時間去做這些事情,但畢竟我們要做的會是偉大的事情。 就在這當兒,老賈過世了。突然間,我意識到某些事情,什麼才是我所追求的?我最大的孩子才剛滿十五歲,另兩子也逐漸長大。而我已經錯過了他們長大的歲月。」

原文是:「In the last several years, the company has been successful enough to generate a substantial amount of capital. And with it, I have been fortunate to bring in people with great talent. And so I started thinking of all the amazing things we would do. I would put in crazy hours to do it, of course, but we would go and do amazing things. Then Steve Jobs died. And suddenly I realized something. What is the objective here? My oldest child just turned 15. My other two are no longer little either. And I have been missing out on them.」 

第三,就是 Eric Karjaluoto ,他在「Not Like Steve」中說:「長期以來,工作是我生活中的唯一重心。不管 是晚上、週末,甚至在耶誕節,我都在工作。即使偶爾難得放下工作,但心中依然惦記著工作,說的想的也都是工作。我不斷地努力往上爬,直到我停下來問這一切是為了什麼?我崇敬老賈努力所爬到的高度,但同時我也在想,他完全失去重心而成為我們這個時代的 John Henry(編按:美國民間傳說中的英雄,為了證明人力可勝過機器而力竭死亡),他是贏了競賽,但是付出了什麼代價呢?至於我嘛,我或許成為商場上的輸家,但我拒絕成為孩子眼中的輸家。」 

原文是:「For a long time, work was my only thing. I worked evenings, weekends, and Christmas. At those rare times when I wasn’t at work in body, I was there in spirit, unable to speak or think of much else. I wanted so badly to climb the mountain that I stopped asking why I was doing it. I admire [Jobs] for the mountains he climbed. At the same time, I wonder if he missed the whole point, becoming the John Henry of our time. He won the race, but at what cost? Me? I may turn out to be a failure in business, but I refuse to fail my kids.」 

最後,寫成這篇「The Lessons of Steve Jobs」專文的 Kottke ,本人也是一個案例。擁有兩個年幼孩子的他前陣子剛好為了一個新創公司個案拼鬥了好幾個月,而他也《賈伯斯傳》汲取了教訓,那就是家庭永遠排在工作前面。 Kottke 說:「一位創造出許多改變世界商品並以意志力與想像力重塑世界的當代商業鉅子之死與其傳記,竟激勵了一些人放棄了那令老賈成功的生活形態,並鼓勵人們去嘗試老賈沒能體驗的道路。」

 原文是:「it is interesting that the death and biography of the greatest businessman of our generation — someone who was responsible for so many world-changing products and ideas, who shaped our world through sheer force of will & imagination, etc. etc. — is inspiring some people to turn away from the lifestyle & choices that made Jobs so successful & inspiring in the public sphere and to attempt the path that Jobs did not.」

大國民 主角 Charlie Kane 遺言「Rosebud」所帶來的永恆遺憾令人動容,而老賈失去了讓他小孩從其身上瞭解父親的機會,也讓人為之鼻酸;但你我可還有別的路可走,而選擇權也還在你我手上。