Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Day Hemingway Died

Posted: April 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

101 Books

We’ve talked about Hemingway’s fascinating life the last couple of days, so—as morbid as it might be—I thought we’d talk about his death today.

Hemingway’s funeral was private and, at the time, his death was still a mystery.

His wife, and even the authorities, said the death was accidental. But people were suspicious because of Papa’s widely known abuse of alcohol and his battles with depression. Two days prior to his death, he had returned from the Mayo Clinic for treatment for “hypertension.”

Here’s how an article in The New York Times on July 5, 1961 described Hemingway’s funeral and the mystery surrounding his death.

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☞ Steve Jobs was responsible for the transformation of Apple from a maverick outfit to the highly valued mainstream company that it is today. In addition to the fact that he is no longer around, this transformation — or what the following article has described as its “narrative arc” — has made some business forecasters question the viability of a company that has lost its identity. This claim, of course is debatable. The extract below is taken from the article “Sustainable storytelling is a powerful tool that communicates vision.” Like many discussions on Apple, it views the company’s history and its future in narrative terms.

“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” — Philip Pullman

“Stories have real power, and which ones we choose to tell ourselves matters.” — Ed Gillespie

“…perhaps the most interesting narrative arc is that described by the rise of Apple.

I’m old enough to remember Apple’s legendary 1984 advert. In those days Apple was a challenger brand attempting to “overcome the monster” (another of the seven basic plots) of IBM, which dominated the market. Their vision and ambition was clear: we will fight for freedom and prevent a form of enslavement to the ordinary. Because of us, 1984 won’t be like Orwell’s vision in his 1984.

Their narrative journey continued through the equally famous Crazy Ones campaign and the reinforcement of Apple’s purpose – their why, their raison d’etre – to Think Different.

It is arguably this evocative mantra that has driven the company’s relentless innovation from desktops, to laptops, to revolutionising digital music through the iPod and iTunes; telecoms through the iPhone, and tablet computing with the iPad, which we didn’t even know we wanted.

Over the three decades since Apple’s 1984, the company has become the most valuable company in the world and is no longer the plucky, creative challenger brand. In the aftermath of the untimely demise of its charismatic founder Steve Jobs, it squats as a market dominator, leveraging control over multiple platforms, squiring dubious supply chain practices and submitting patents and issuing law suits left right and centre. Hardly the behaviour of a maverick interloper. Has Apple passed its peak and lost touch with its story?”