When You’re Doing It For The Wrong Reasons

When You’re Doing It For The Wrong Reasons

I write this while siting in my bed, literally unconnected to the world on my MacBook Air, yet connected to millions of people via Twitter, and now a billion via Facebook. Next to me is my iPhone, which connects me with just a few taps to all my loved ones, friends, and people that I probably shouldn’t talk to (especially at midnight.)

I have one person to thank for this – and he passed away exactly a year ago.

Today (Friday), a digital agency in Seattle is arranging a “flash mob” at the Apple store in Seattle to celebrate “Steve Jobs Day” – or rather, the anniversary of his death. The “flash mob” is at 9:30 a.m., and the digital agency is making it clear that this is their idea, their event, and that they are actively seeking out attention and credit for this idea.

In fact, if I were to write it as a news story, it might sound something like

…”To celebrate the life of Jobs, (entitled digital agency here) arranged a flash mob at the Apple Store in Seattle.”

You see what happens there? It becomes less about the life of Steve, and all about the digital agency and what they did instead.

Startups (and like-minded) – if you need to take credit for a good deed, you’re doing the good deed for the wrong reason.

This can be said for referring someone a job (you shouldn’t expect credit – let alone financially – for helping a friend) or helping them get a discount for services because you “know someone.” If you expect anything in return – other than gratitude or friendship – again; you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.

Will I be at this “flash mob” tomorrow at 9:30? No. I will not give this digital agency national attention for leveraging the passing of one of the most innovative people of our time for their personal and business gain. 

Instead, I will be sure to share the stories others write – the memoirs shared, the tributes that journalists much better than myself publish throughout the day. Articles they write tomorrow not for pageviews – let alone attention – but because there are still so many stories about Steve’s life to share and discuss.

Steve’s life does not need to be credited to anyone else. But I do credit the ability for me to live mine – in so many ways – to him….and I’m sure many of you can to.

It’s important to give credit where it’s due….but if you’re asking for it back (especially to the detriment of someone else) you’re doing it wrong.