We will be in Whistler tomorrow for a presentation to all Whistler Realtors. If you are a Whistler Realtor and are interested in attending please feel free to contact us at 1-800-209-2416.
We will be in Whistler tomorrow for a presentation to all Whistler Realtors. If you are a Whistler Realtor and are interested in attending please feel free to contact us at 1-800-209-2416.
Hope that you appreciate these powerful stories delivered by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and Pixar Animation Studios, at Stanford University’s Commencement Address on June 12, 2005.
Make it a fantastic day!
The Muljat Group
Stanford University Commencement address on June 12, 2005 by Steve Jobs:
I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.
The first story is about connecting the dots.
I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why
did I drop out?
It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.
And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.
It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all
came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.
Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
My second story is about love and loss.
I was lucky – I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation – the Macintosh – a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.
I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as
it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me – I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.
I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.
During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.
I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. 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.
My third story is about death.
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an
impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly
important. 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.
About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.
I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my
intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.
This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
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 other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960’s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.
Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
Thank you all very much.
Just thought I would let you know we are very happy with your suggestion to use craigslist. We have one sale that resulted from a listing we posted there. We have had quite a few other inquiries.
We also had some input from an acquaintance that said our search was the easiest to use that he has tried. Thanks.
CLASSIFIED INTELLIGENCE REPORT – June 8, 2005 – VERSION 6.11 – Page 23
Don’t turn around . . . the Ubertor’s in town
BY BRIAN BLUM
It sounds like either the title to a John Belushi-inspired Saturday Night Live skit or the set up to an industry insider joke, a kind of “two real estate agents walk into a bar” zinger. But the proprietors of a new real estate
consulting company are spot-on serious about their business.
Q: What do you call a Super-Realtor?
A: An “Ubertor”
Ubertor is the new name for Combustion Listings (www.CombustionListings.com) , an online consulting firm and software developer that aims to help Realtors up the ante on the competition. The name slaps the German prefix of “uber” – meaning above or on top – onto the “tor” of Realtor.
With more than 4,000 Realtor clients, Ubertor – despite the amusing new name – has been growing rapidly. Their differentiation: constantly emphasizing the cutting edge.
Ubertor, like real estate-focused marketing firm z57 – see CIR 5.17, Sept. 14, 2004 – creates Web sites for Realtors. Both build real estate specific functionality into their offerings, tools to manage listings, track how many times features such as the mortgage calculator have been clicked, and the like.
But Ubertor seems to prefer exploring a bit off the beaten track. For example, Ubertor aggressively pushes Realtor blogging as a simple but effective way for Realtors to generate additional traffic and higher search engine rankings.
“Most real estate sites have canned content,” explained Steve Jagger, co-founder of Ubertor. “Google doesn’t like that. Search engines want unique quality content, updated frequently – which is what blogs do by their very nature.”
All very well, but what would a Realtor write about in a blog? As we reported in our coverage of the California Association of Realtor’s latest “Internet vs. Traditional Buyer” survey (see CIR 6.08, April 27), 71 percent of Internet home buyers only interviewed a single agent before making a choice on who, to work with – and that agent tended to be the first one who responded. Blogs, by contrast, are all about building a relationship over time. So we had to ask: Does anyone really care?
“Well, they can write about what kind of sales they’re involved in, what they’re up to on a day-to-day basis,” Jagger said.
Sure, but let’s be honest: The real draw is not the blog chat but the listings. And to emphasize that point,
Ubertor’s most powerful module is one that automatically posts new listings from a Realtor onto his or her blog.
Indeed, a Realtor doesn’t even have to touch his blog for it to sport the frequently updated blog entries that Google is more prone to display. The same module works on the “regular” Web pages Ubertor builds for its clients as well.
Also, Ubertor is rolling out an e-mail alert feature, so that home buyers can subscribe and be alerted when a new home is posted on the Realtor’s blog.
While blogs may be primarily a trick for pumping up traffic, Ubertor uses some nifty technology for making the user experience more interactive once home buyers and sellers come to a Ubertor-powered Realtor’s site.
Ubertor employs the same AJAX technology we wrote about previously when describing Paul Rademacher’s HousingMaps.com (CIR 6.08) which displays Craigslist real estate listings on GoogleMap pages. (Ubertor is rolling out its own GoogleMaps module as well, but Jagger wasn’t ready to talk about it.)
AJAX essentially allows Web pages to load more like offline applications without the annoying wait-andrefresh process associated with most database-driven search pages. A demo of this can be seen on the Ubertor built www.HistoricModern.com site.
Follow the links for Properties, then choose Property Search. Select an area such as Scottsdale, then start drilling down. The screen will show in near real-time the results of your search, and even better, will only display search options that match results in the database.
“If there are no 1,500 square-foot townhouses for under $100,000, there won’t be an option to search for it that then comes back with 0 Results, Jagger said. “This really simplifies the search process.”
Ubertor is also pushing the envelope with its slide show feature. While nearly every real estate software system allows Realtors to post images, slide shows and even virtual tours, Jagger claims Ubertor is unique in that it allows Realtors to add MP3 audio narrations automatically into the slide show. Realtors record the narration live while watching the slide show, making the timing a cinch. With a digital camera, laptop and a wireless connection, the whole show can be created on-the-fly from the home itself. A demo can be found at http://demo2.ubertor.com/ViewProperty/18/Active/#viewdetail.
Ubertor was founded in 2000 in then 27-year-old Jagger’s parents’ house and was initially known as Combustion Hosting. He and partner, Mike Stephenson, didn’t intend to get into the real estate business. But after they signed up a couple of Realtors by chance who wanted Web hosting, they quickly realized there were some major inefficiencies in the way their Realtor clients were managing their listings.
“They were getting listings faxed,” Jagger told us. “There’d be a 48 hour delay in getting the listing posted, then there’d be spelling mistakes. They needed an engine so they could load their listings themselves.” Combustion took on that task and it wasn’t long before the company was growing out of Jagger’s bedroom.
The Vancouver-based company employs 22 today and has since sold off the hosting business to concentrate solely on the real estate space.
While any Realtor can become an Ubertor customer, the company has focused its sales effort in several locations – its home base in western Canada and the Phoenix market which Jagger says has a heavy Canadian buying contingent.
Ubertor’s software doesn’t offer any serious lead-generation functionality to date. A recent upgrade now allows independent graphic designers and Web site builders to plug in Ubertor’s most popular features rather
than forcing them to use Ubertor’s software and templates. Ubertor runs free training sessions in its Vancouver office and on the road.
While Jagger wouldn’t reveal revenues, he suggested it’s not hard to calculate. With 4,000 clients paying between $37-$57 per month, that’s a potential revenue stream of close to $2 million a year. Well on its way to true, “uber” status.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Inman News has invited me to speak at their Real Estate Connect Conference in San Francisco coming up next month. That’s all the info I have right now… they have mailed me a package. More to follow…
Looks like Craig is going to add:
Should be good for the real estate agents in these cities.