For the Guys in their Garage

My dad is an inventor. Kind of like Belle's dad in Beauty and the Beast but more stoic. He's built things his entire life, but when he was laid-off in 2009 when the housing market collapsed he started inventing in his shop full time.

 Men tend to define themselves by their professions. When my Dad meets people it's not uncommon for their first question to be "what do you do?" This is where my sister and I usually begin to roll our eyes. You sir, have no idea what you just got into.

After he explains his project - which is technically impossible according to the laws of physics - there comes a question and answer portion. I have most of my Dad's answers memorized.

A few months ago someone asked him a question that stopped me. I'd never heard this one before, and to be honest, I myself had wondered the same thing.
"what makes you think you can figure this out? If it was possible don't you think some big company would have this on lock down?"

My dad replied
"You know, I heard an interview with Bill Gates the other day. He said he wasn't worried about what some other company is coming up with.  He said his real competition is a guy out in his garage somewhere."

Steve Jobs was one of those garage guys. Just like my Dad. Just like anyone who works at something quietly, with no pay or security, only the stirring in their heart. 
He knew the power of believing in a dream and going after it.
These things shall never die.

(photo) by my dad - the moon over his garage workspace. On film with the pentax k1000 - he's the original owner of that camera. (p.s) The interview referenced was by Charlie Rose with Ken Aluetta, writer of the book Googled. The quote from Bill Gates dates to 1998 - a year after Apple launched their Think Different campaign. You can read the exact quote here


  1. beautifully said Sam! Love it!!

  2. Again with the poignant and well-written thoughts. Thank you. Today has been hard. I'm hopelessly naive and sensitive, and so I feel the sting of bad jokes and irreverent "who the hell cares" comments popping up all over the web. This is what I needed.

  3. Maura : Thank you! I had a different post planned for today, but at 11:00 last night I just kept thinking about this.

    Bethany : From one sensative soul to another ... I care! I've been feeling so disillusioned lately, but Steve Jobs really embodied the spirit I believe in. Sometimes greed doesn't win, creativity does.

  4. this post is beautiful! i do wish that we didn't have to define ourselves by our jobs, but at the same time it makes me more passionate about working jobs that matter (which usually means harder work for less $$$). Your dad is an inspiration and I love how you compare him to Belle's dad. "i'm off to the fair!"


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