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MIT’s Technology Review Reflects ...

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MIT Technology Review

Many of the articles on the passing of Steve Jobs highlighted his Stanford commencement speech and his gift for storytelling.

I raked the media coverage to see if anyone actually focused on his communications expertise.

A few did with the best one ironically coming from MIT’s media property, Technology Review.

David Zax penned a post simply titled, “Steve Jobs, Storyteller” which kicks off:

Among the many things that made Steve Jobs, who died yesterday, a genius was the fact that he was, at heart, a storyteller.

Later, Zax resurrects his 1985 interview in Playboy that I’d forgotten about.

Check out these words from more than 25 years ago:

He is on a mission, preaching the Gospel of salvation through the personal computer, preferably one manufactured by Apple. He is an engaging pitchman and never loses an opportunity to sell his products, eloquently describing a time when computers will be as common as kitchen appliances and as revolutionary in their impact as the telephone or the internal-combustion engine.

What struck me reading this passage is he maintained this intensity for 25 plus years.

I think this quality often gets overlooked when it comes to storytelling in business.

Yes, the fresh wrinkle and conflict advance the narrative.

And as discussed before, he consciously created scarcity as a technique to build drama.

But his intense care – “preaching the Gospel of salvation through the personal computer” – more than any quality explains how he did it.


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