“Here’s to the crazy ones. The rebels. The troublemakers. The ones who see things differently. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do,” Apple “Think Differently” Ad Campaign
After a particularly intense conversation (maybe one of those campfire ones I am so fond of), a friend told me that I have the spiritual gift of disruption. He went on to explain that it was “disruptive for good” and that he thought that was one of the necessary spiritual gifts modeled by Jesus that is woefully lacking today in the Church. I just thought I was clumsy with people.
Like all the other gifts, when we try to practically exercise them, it can get a little messy. I have long quit trying to be “disruptive” and now just know that it often means that I end up in very long conversations as a result…or very, very short ones.
The story goes that the introduction of the operating system, Windows 95, was completely destroying the small market share that Apple had gained up to that point. In a fit of desperation (remember they had thrown him out some years back), they reestablish Steve Jobs at the helm of Apple in 1997. With only 3 months cash in the bank and rapidly declining sales, they did what every team does when they are down with the remaining seconds ticking off the clock; they threw a hail mary.
In this case it was in the form of a revolutionary ad campaign. With images of Einstein, Gandhi, MLK, JFK, etc., flashing the screen, the words quoted above were spoken. It found an audience. The first group of millennials were firmly into their teens and looking to make a break from the prior generations. They either wanted to see change inherently, or ad campaigns like this popular during this season, shaped them this way.
It became the cry of a generation and an internal rallying cry for the kids at Apple. Trying to compete with the Microsoft PC world on their terms had proved catastrophic. A completely different path was required. The journey they took from that point forward changed the way we integrate and use technology forever.
- 1998 – IMac released – very consumer friendly desktop
- 2001 – Ipod – music has never been the same
- 2001 – MAC OS X – PC users could switch to Apple much easier
- 2003 – Itunes store, physical and on-line
- 2007 – Iphone
- 2010 – Ipad
Their plan was to disrupt the status quo and change the world. There is some argument to whether or not it has all been for good, but change the world they did.
The bible is the most disruptive text ever cobbled together and the central protagonist of the new revelation penned there was the most revolutionary figure to ever walk the face of the earth. Now, Jobs is no Christ figure and the other young leaders on the Apple team bear no resemblance to the early disciples, but they both illustrate something vitally important:
Change requires different thinking.
Revolutionary change requires radically different living.
Revolutionaries of every generation have typically been embraced by a few and ostracized by the multitude, before the traction was finally found. Revolution is not for the meek or the timid. If we want to change the direction of our culture it is going to take more than minor course directions.
At this point, we need more than minor shifts…we need tectonic ones.
- Does your life make anyone uncomfortable?
- What does following the example of the revolutionary we are called to follow look like in your life?
- What is the next bold step you need to make in that direction?