Here’s to the Crazy Ones
“Here’s to the crazy ones.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them, disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They invent. They imagine. They heal.
They explore. They create. They inspire.
They push the human race forward.
Maybe they have to be crazy.
How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?
Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written?
Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
We make tools for these kinds of people.
While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Often misattributed to Steve Jobs, the poem was a part of Apple's iconic Think Different ad campaign developed in the late 90s. Back then, Apple's image in the computing space was that Macintosh's were computers for 'creatives,' more toy than tool. Rather than try to wipe away that reputation, Apple leaned in and fully embraced it. The ad campaign highlighted how the creatives - those who see things differently - were, in fact, those who change the world—featuring iconic individuals including Einstein, Gandhi, Amelia Earhart, Mohammad Ali, and more. It was brilliant! Everything about the campaign branded Apple as mavericks and distinctly different from the competition. It was an evocative campaign that painted Apple as the scrappy underdog. It certainly was, and still arguably is, a philosophy that continues to be infused in the company's DNA despite its phenomenal success and market dominance.
The poem itself was developed by a collective including Rob Siltanen, Lee Clow, and others. It was allegedly initially 'hated' by Steve Jobs, although he later came around & changed his mind (classic Steve). Two narrations of the ad exist, one by Richard Dreyfuss and one by Steve Jobs himself.
Though the Think Different campaign ended in the early 2000s, the poem has continued to find its way into various Apple icons as recently as 2020. Here's a small collection of where the verse has popped up in Apple's icon history.
For a period of time, Apple’s All My Files, Keynote, Notes, and TextEdit apps all had the portions of the poem embedded into their icons.
Verses of the poem have also appeared in various documents, including in the Plain Text, Text Snippet, Swift, and Markdown icons across macOS & iOS.
Several of Apple’s emoji also show the poem. Pictured here are the book, page facing up, scroll, page with curl, bookmark tabs, receipt, clipboard, and memo emoji. Though the text is really blurry, trust me, it’s the poem.
This brilliant campaign came about right before the beleaguered company would begin a meteoric rise to success. And when I look back at my early affinity for Apple, much of their appeal could be credited to the spirit they stoked through this campaign.
Video: Here’s to the Crazy Ones - Narrated by Richard Dreyfuss
Video: Here’s to the Crazy Ones - Narrated by Steve Jobs
Wikipedia: Think Different Campaign
Credits: /u/Declanmar for their post about the receipt emoji; Erica Sadun’s post for the rest of the Emoji; Benjamin Mayo’s post about the Swift file Easter egg; Lars Augustin for the Markdown icon, & Joey Banks for pointing out the poem on the 2012 Keynote icon. I’m certain there are others who discovered these Easter eggs as well, these are just the sources I came across during my search for this entry.