Steve Jobs once described Apple as a company that exists at the “intersection of art and technology.” Many describe Steve Jobs himself as an artist, others are not so quick to his praise. But what isn’t as debatable is the fact that Apple is one of the most influential and powerful technology companies in the world.
Jobs knew that technology would only be as powerful as it is when paired with the sensibilities of art. This approach to business is not exclusive to Apple—it’s important to all businesses and enterprises that also wish to unleash the power that exists at the intersection of art and enterprise.
“But… I’m not an artist! Help!!”
The word design literally means, “to do or plan something with specific purpose or intention in mind.” Or more simply put: to solve a problem. If you solve any sort of problem during the day, you might just be a designer, and therefore… an artist!
Well, okay, that may be a bit of stretch. But you get the idea.
Well, maybe you are! We’re not talking about fine art… we’re talking about the purpose behind the art. Art with intention. Art that achieves business goals. One of the best words to describe art with a purpose is “design.”
Everything is designed.
It’s not just limited to a crisp, new business card or neat looking architecture along the riverbank. Nor is it limited to shiny new electronics or a fancy pattern printed on your great grandma’s china set.
Design is a framework, or a type of thinking, that you can use as a tool. A tool that is imperative to use for your business to be successful. To make an impact. To be strategic. To be innovative. To provide something useful, and therefore valuable for your audience. Design allows you to be nuanced and thoughtful. Design is the art of solving problems—and to create solutions that are meaningful, beautiful, and intentional.
Steve Jobs had a crystal clear vision on how to use design in a way that connected with his audience. People called him obsessive (and he may have been) to the point where even the inside of the computer had to look perfect. He knew that simply coming up with a product wasn’t enough. It had to be beautiful, too. It had to create a human connection. It had to be useful. It was that type of artistic thinking that allowed him to be one of the most transformative business leaders in history.
We are all capable of being transformative. And it all begins by asking yourself one important question: how can I, too, exist at the intersection of art and enterprise?