Apple's Innovation and a Father's Commitment


macbook pro Apple is a company known for their innovation, legendary CEO, and their diligent secrecy.  Apple routinely builds the best products in the computer and mobile device industry.  While Apple and also it's employees are known by the incredible products they build and the beautiful, intuitive design they imagine, they are not often known for their commitment to their families.

Any current computer that is purchased from Apple will be built upon an underlying architecture of an Intel chip.  For years prior Apple computers were built on what was known as PowerPC, a technology that Steve Jobs was disappointed in.  Intel chips promised a better, higher performing future.  While the decision to switch to Intel seems like it is primarily a business decision, we often don't see the story that led to this innovation.  The story of a man who wanted to do what was best for his family.

John Kullman - Super Dad/Apple Innovator

Enter John Kullman, an Apple employee who in 2000 had been working for Apple for 13 years.  He now had a one year old son and the desire to move back to the East Coast to be near family was great.  He had an incredible job as an engineer for the best technology company in the world, but what was important for John was figuring out if could he telecommute so he could honor his family by moving them closer to his parents.  To help make this happen, he sent this e-mail:

Date: Tue, 20 Jun 2000 10:31:04 -0700 (PDT)
From: John Kullmann <jk@apple.com>
To: Joe Sokol
Subject: intel

i'd like to discuss the possibility of me becoming
responsible for an intel version of MacOS X.

whether that's just as an engineer, or as a project/
technical lead with another person - whatever.

i've been working on the intel platform for the last
week getting continuations working, i've found it
interesting and enjoyable, and, if this (an intel
version) is something that could be important to us i'd
like to discuss working on it full-time.

jk

John began working on this little project that would remain a secret to most employees at Apple.  In 2001 his project would take a turn when he was asked to prove that he was a worthwhile expense as an employee.  Joe would visit John's (JK) home office and be amazed as JK booted up Mac OSX on an Intel PC.  After some discussion, this little experiment would turn into a much larger project.

John's home office would be transformed to meet Apple's security standards.  For 18 months, only six people even had a clue that this was being worked on.  Soon Steve Jobs was involved, the home office was being re-designed, and additional engineers were assigned to the project.

While it is amazing to see the lengths Apple would go to keep the project quiet and the incredible innovation of JK to get Mac OSX running on these computers, the most amazing thing is neither of those realities.  But what blows my mind is this innovation all started because a dad wanted to love his family well.  An engineer for Apple demoted himself  and came up with a project that he could do from home all because he wanted his son Max to live closer to his grandparents.

Treasure Your Kids.

I want to be the type of dad that is so committed to my son and to my family that I'd be willing to take a demotion simply for the sake of prioritizing my family.  I want to be the type of dad if somebody has to be cheated of their time with me, it will be my ministry that loses and not my family.  I want to be the type of dad that is present to my family and not too busy to spend time with my wife and kids.  I want to be the type of dad that treasures his son; to delight the moments when my son looks up at me from his crib with a big old smile.

"Proverbs 3:11–12 the father says, “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.” Before any father disciplines his children, he is commanded to delight in them. Practically, this means that most of a father’s time is spent enjoying his children, encouraging his children, laughing with his children, being affectionate with his children, and enjoying his children so that there is a deep bond of love and joy between the children and their dad." - Mark Driscoll

As a man it is easy to delight in my work and my accomplishments, which is valuable.  But may my delight in what I do always pale in comparison to who I am.  Daddy.

Photo Credit: setothetech

 

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