This is a book about work. What work is, what work leads to, and what work should mean to a person.
Let’s begin this with a quote from Steve Jobs:
When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.
I start with that because it made an impression on people.
And because it impressed people, it’s a measure of how far we’ve fallen.
This is from Orison’s book, published in 1909:
Steve’s father understood the eternal values. And he passed that part of them on to Steve. And the fruits of that was a multi-bilion-dollar world-spanning company called Apple.
This will sound racist alarms in some people — but only to those who miss the damn point (hint: see the concluding paragraph!):
Repeating the lesson:
I now wonder how many people walk around miserable because they’ve been cheating themselves and they know it. They blame the world for not giving them their due — when they’re not giving anyone or anything or even themselves their all.
This is still true today and also why many Chinese prefer to buy an iPad over a domestic tablet:
This book even applies to writing:
And if it isn’t clear yet what Marden was getting at:
This is a book that should be required reading in elementary schools. Before anyone is old enough to go out into the world of work.
It’s also a book to be given to anyone you know who habitually does crap work. Maybe it will wake them up.