Innovation Happens at the Intersections
Photo courtesy of tellmewhat.

Innovation Happens at the Intersections

Written by Emilie

Topics: Creativity

 I think I’ve summed up my entire philosophy in one Venn diagram:

(If I were better at making Venn diagrams, I would have added fields 3 and 4… ;)

Steve Jobs

Yesterday we lost one of the most inventive multipotentialites of our time. Steve Jobs was someone who worked in the center of that Venn diagram throughout his entire career.

There’s a point in Jobs’ Stanford address when he tells the story of sneaking into a calligraphy class at Reed College. That one little calligraphy class later became the inspiration for Apple’s beautiful typography.

Imagine if someone had said “Steve, what are you doing man? Are you going to devote yourself to becoming a master calligrapher? No? Then stop wasting your time dabbling!”

When Jobs says to “trust that the dots will connect,” he’s speaking to you, multipotentialites.


  1. Love it. Such is a beautiful tribute to Mr. Jobs, and a wonderful message for every multipotentialite :)

    May he rest in peace.

  2. Jeff Goins says:

    Loved that address.

  3. Denise says:

    Last night, as I was watching that speech, what he said about “connecting the dots” is what stood out to me the most.

    I think because I haven’t trusted that enough or at all.

    I’ve taken many directions that I didn’t expect and I’ve wondered if it will “connect” for the best. I’ve wondered about what I “should have done” way too much, not appreciating everything I’ve learned taking all those different directions.

    I’m glad you write about what you do. It’s given me a lot to think about.

    • Emilie says:

      I’m glad. My feeling is that, even if your dots don’t “connect” in an explicit way like Steve’s calligraphy class did, all of your experiences and explorations contribute to who you are now. They have an impact on everything you create, even if you can’t quite figure out what that impact is. It’s still there.

      My feeling is that there’s no point in looking to make sense of your curiosities. Just trust your intuition and if a passion calls to you, go for it.

  4. Holli says:

    I’m all teary eyed. Thank you for sharing!

    Fun note: I took the last graphic design class in High School using an old school printing press and Apple computers for designing the typography. Not sure where that dot will line up in my future, but I loved it.

    • Emilie says:

      That’s so cool! Apple has been a big part of my life too, ever since we got our first computer when I was 7. Remember those rainbow stickers that used to come with every Apple computer? I had those on my sticker wall. :)

      • Holli says:


        We didn’t have a computer growing up, but thankfully the schools provided some exposure in the “computer labs” where you could spend time on them during lunch and after school.

        I bought a Powerbook when I was 18. I was going to College, and shared it with the family since I was living at home. It died several years ago:(

  5. Annie says:

    Agreed with everything you said in this post, Emilie. :)

    We lost a real great mind, but his innovation will keep working its magic for a long time.

    I so resonate with trusting that the dots will line up… it’s something I need to keep in mind more often.

  6. So glad I found this site (through your guest post on Jon Mead’s site), and I love what you’ve said about Steve here.

    The web is on fire with opinions on this man, (my 2 cents here: ) but I really gravitate towards the one’s that appreciate his vision and legacy, and understand his passion for creativity.

    Beautiful stuff Emilie, and really uplifting comments from everyone. Rock on, multipotentialites!

    • Emilie says:

      Thanks so much, Jason. I’m really glad we’ve managed to connect too. We totally have a ton in common eh? :)

      I look forward to digging into your site more!

      • We totally do! The feeling of like-minds connecting is… heaven.

        I’m in the middle of renovating the content on mine Derek-Halpern style, (it was way too hard to access) and I totally look forward to browsing yours!

        You rock!

  7. Steve Jobs would have thought you a genius, Miss Emilie.

    Thank you for shining your light!!!

  8. Tricia says:

    I love this! I have finally found my tribe. I have always had deep passions for so many things. People sometimes want you to pick one thing and believe that if you are doing multiple interests you arent serious about all of them. I like dabble and learn from it all. Thank you for your blog. I love it.

  9. I think I have to find a beautiful poster with that saying — “trust that the dots will connect”. Ah, I wish I was a graphic designer! I can picture what I would create, but don’t know how to do it! Any multipotentialites out there who are up to the challenge? I’d love a copy of the poster if you do create it!

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