Before i Forget : Simon Jones's blog

October 2011

GeneralSunday, October 9th, 2011, (6:30 pm)

A few people have commented to me that I haven’t been updating my blog that much. That’s true, my update rate has been dismal, but there’s a good reason, honest there is.

Open Road in Australia

When I began ‘North,’ my road trip from Melbourne up the east coast of Australia, I had every intention of blogging along the way, and posting regular updates and pictures from the road. However, it turns out that doing that was more difficult than I had anticipated.

My trusty Toyota van is great as a camper, but because it doesn’t have any kind of table inside, it turns out that it’s a disaster for writing. Everytime I sit down to do any writing after dark, I am essentially sat on my bed, and in that situation with nothing but darkness outside, my brain seems to begin shutting down for the day and I quickly give up the struggle to stay awake.

The upside is that I get up early, or at least I get up earlier than I am known for getting up. This means longer days full of fun stuff to do; stuff that I photograph and fully intend to write about. But then the night draws in and if I’m not out with people, I’m again battling to stay focused and awake.

I’m wildly behind with my road trip blog now. In fact, since the Brisbane post I’ve made it all the way up the east coast to Cape Tribulation and the Great Barrier Reef. I drove for seven days across the outback to Darwin, then visited Bali for a quick vacation before nipping over to Singapore to watch the Formula One Grand Prix.

And now, after nearly five months on the road, I am half way back to Melbourne, driving right through the middle of the country, slicing my way through the so-called ‘Red Centre.’ This massive road trip is drawing to an end.

Australian road trip

So here’s my plan. I really want to write about my travels, not only to share with all of you, but to document the journey for myself. It takes a long time to sort through the mass of photographs I take, then prepare them for the blog, but I do want to share those pictures and the stories from my travels.

If you forgive me for my lacklustre blogging performance these last few months, I promise you that you’ll be treated to some great pictures and some pretty good road stories. Among them will be the hitch hiker who was just released from jail, or the one who told me about her brief experience as a balloon porn star (I didn’t know what that was either). I’ll tell you about crewing a racing yacht at the Whitsunday Islands Regatta, getting bitten by a spider in Queensland, and swimming with crocodiles in Darwin.

If that sounds like your cup-of-tea, then stay tuned, subscribe if you haven’t already, and I’ll share with you the highlights and pictures from my life on the road.

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GeneralSaturday, October 8th, 2011, (11:00 pm)

Steve Jobs, the charismatic founder and CEO of Apple has died. That’s old news now though, he died on Wednesday, but I’ve been in the Australian outback and I only found out yesterday when I saw an email from a friend with the title ‘Jobsy.’ I immediately knew what the email would tell me, that Steve Jobs had succumbed to the rare form of pancreatic cancer he had been fighting.

Steve Jobs

I didn’t know Steve Jobs, or rather I didn’t know him much more than other people who use and enjoy Apple products. I’d heard stories of his tight control on product design and his outlandish behaviour in the early days of Apple.

My favorite of those stories is when, in 1983, Jobs lured the CEO of Pepsi, John Sculley, away from the soft drinks manufacturer with the question, “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?”

He was famous for being a fierce micro-manager, a CEO who spent a great deal of his time involved in the smallest of details that most CEOs would leave to others. I had an experience of that myself back in 2001 when Steve Jobs himself ordered that a website I was running should be closed down.

Mac CardsMac Cards was essentially a Apple fan site that used pictures of Apple products in ecards that people could send to one another. The site was a quick success and became very popular in the Mac community. However, Steve Jobs sent another Apple executive a ‘Mac Card’ that read “How can anyone represent us in this way?!!” It was an ominous forewarning to the legal intervention that followed soon after.

Mac Cards was forced to close amid a storm of negative publicity. The company was widely criticised for using heavy handed tactics. Even Apple’s own co-founder Steve Wozniak publicly commented that the company had overreacted, and in an email to me Wozniak wrote, “The Apple that you love is the people that use Apple products and the community that they represent. This ‘Apple’ supports you.”

In the end Apple sought to smooth things over with myself and my friend Will (who was also named in their UK high court injunction), though I have little doubt that decision didn’t come from Mr Jobs.

It’s sad that he’s died so young. At 56 years old he was still very much ahead of the game in the technology world. His ability to drive innovation and market desire was the envy of every company in the world. And while Apple didn’t necessarily invent a raft of new technologies (as my angry friend Darryl would often point out), it put them together in a way that the world wanted to use them.

As I said, I didn’t know Steve Jobs, and already many blogs and column inches have been devoted to his passing. But in true Jobs style I’ll add just ‘one more thing‘ and leave you with the words of Jobs himself that he said to students in a commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005.

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

The famous look of Steve Jobs
What made Steve Jobs unique
5 industries Jobs helped change forever
[Video] The Crazy Ones
[Video] One more thing