From WSJ report by W. Mossberg and K. Swisher on D: All things Digital conference.
“Perhaps it’s best to let Mr. Jobs speak to give you the best idea of the next direction tech will take: “Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. 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.” In other words [the authors say]: No matter what, you always need to look back to look forward.”
What? “… look back to look forward? Noooooo! That’s not what Jobs was saying.
He was saying that you can only figure out what happened when you look back, not while it is happening. And you can’t know the future, even though it looks inevitable later.
Jobs used the word “trust” twice. That emphasis means something. If you can’t know the future, you must trust … yourself, your efforts, your vision, your karma.
Actually, if you are looking back to move forward you’re likely to trip over irrelevancies. Things that are no longer viable may look right. The Maginot Line was intended to stop the Germans from invading in their ground vehicles the way they did the last time. Guess what? They flew their airplanes over instead.
In the world of Internet usage, would it have done anyone any good to look backward? Modems were out almost as soon as they became “in.” Wireline connections gave way to buried fiberoptic lines just in time for wireless transmissions to render them nearly obsolete.
Strange that such excellent journalists as Mossberg and Swisher missed that.
Dear readers: what do you think Jobs meant? Is IFO right, or were the WSJ writers right?