Opportunity vs. Outcome

I posted You Need a Person earlier and it focused on Steve Jobs’ thoughts on education and technology. In that same interview there was an even shorter line from Mr. Jobs that stuck in my mind as well.

I’m a very big believer in equal opportunity as opposed to equal outcome. I don’t believe in equal outcome ’cause, unfortunately, life’s not like that and it’d be a pretty boring place if it was.

I’m pretty sure everyone knew that Steve believed in meritocracy, and this is another example of him outlining that worldview. I think, though, it belies an even greater truth that I am trying to parse out in my own mind.

When we talk about equality we need to understand that in this world, things are never going to be equal for everyone when it comes to outcome. That is a road to lowered bars and stifling the individuality of everyone. When we all need to have the same outcomes, we’re all going to end up being the same.

That would be a dreadfully boring place.

You can watch the section of the interview on YouTube. The whole thing is pretty good but you’ll need to set aside a good amount of time to watch it.