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#082: Time for a Refresh: Why This is the Time to Think Different

music and meaning Dec 12, 2022

 Do you remember that famous Apple computer advertising campaign, the one that urged us all to “think different?”

That ad campaign was created just after Steve Jobs had returned to the Apple company and Apple needed a new start. The year was 1997 and Apple was on the rocks. Their stock was trading at a 12-year low, and the company that had been known for its creativity and innovation was stagnant and dying. So when Steve Jobs returned to Apple after having left in the mid-1980s, customers, if not Apple’s board of directors, were expecting something new and exciting. And they got it, with interest. During Jobs' tenure after his return, Apple launched the iMac, iBook, iPod, Mac OS X, iPhone, iPad, and more. 

You may have forgotten that shaky period in Apple’s history, but I bet the ad campaign is still fresh in your mind.

There were two television advertisements that were shown most often. There was a one-minute version that featured  black-and-white images of 17 iconic 20th-century difference-makers, including Albert Einstein, Bob Dylan, Martin Luther King Jr., Richard Branson, John Lennon (with Yoko Ono), Buckminster Fuller, Thomas Edison, Muhammad Ali, Ted Turner, Maria Callas, Mahatma Gandhi, Amelia Earhart, Alfred Hitchcock, Martha Graham, Jim Henson (with Kermit the Frog), Frank Lloyd Wright, and Pablo Picasso. There was also a 30-second version of the ad which showed only 11 of the 17 innovators.

For Apple, the ads proved to be more than a montage of people who influenced the future of humanity. These ads also ignited the spark of change within Apple itself, leading to its recovery and resurgence as the tech giant it has become and also to the company’s emergence as a leader in marketing and promotions. Apple became different.

What does this have to do with your harp playing? On today’s show we are going to talk about how you can harness the power of thinking differently to transform your harp playing, maybe in a huge, game-changing way, or maybe in small but significant ways. As we come to the end of the year, we can consider closing the door on what is feeling stale or unrewarding and opening the window to let in some fresh air. We can recharge, reinvigorate and redirect our musical energies to enable us to go where our harps may lead us. I have some very specific action steps to share with you too, ones that you’re going to enjoy doing, I promise. 

Links to things I think you might be interested in that were mentioned in the podcast episode: 

Get involved in the show! Send your questions and suggestions for future podcast episodes to me at [email protected]


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