Steve Jobs was a visionary in technology and quite possibly the best marketer who ever lived. He built Apple to be one of the most valuable and powerful companies in the world. 

Of all Steve Job’s wonderful speeches and product launches, though, there is only one that really resonates with me: his 2005 Commencement Address at Stanford

It’s the only Steve Jobs performance (my opinion) that came from his heart, not his head. In it Jobs tells the story of how he rose from being adopted, dropping out of school, starting Apple out of his garage and being kicked out of the company he built (imagine). 

In those “wilderness years” before returning triumphantly to Apple, Jobs finally learned the management skills it took to build products that truly “changed the world”. And just maybe, he learned that he didn’t need to be an a-hole to do it!

Still, it was only after Steve Jobs became ill with cancer that he truly learned how to “connect the dots” and become human – not just sell Apple products. Becoming sick with cancer was essentially the only thing that caused him to truly re-examine his legacy.

After all, with disruption, look what starts to happen with products. Millennials no longer buy their music from iTunes, Apple was late to streaming music with Beats, the iPod is antiquated, the iPhone has been equaled or eclipsed by companies like Samsung, the Mac is a good but overpriced laptop and the iPad is no longer the only tablet on the market. See what I mean?

I believe that Jobs finally learned that at the end of the day, all you have is your family, friends and the culture you have built as your legacy. Only then do you become inspirational to future generations and truly make a difference.

That was why Jobs devoted so much time as he was dying to building the Apple headquarters in California and educating the Apple faithful with the Apple University! 

That’s why Jobs keeps hammering this point in his speech…

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

Now that I’m a father I have aspirations for my boys and for my country the United States. It makes me think that in order to change the world and really make a difference that will last, you have to DREAM BIG. I’m talking CRAZY BIG.

That’s why an idea that I had for a Baan reunion after 20 years has given me hope that together with like-minded people (ex-Baan, friends and family) that we really CAN change the world. I know it.

The trick is to get everyone together that you’ve loved from your past and gain the support of visionaries like Bill & Melinda GatesWarren Buffett and Richard Branson.

Forget about this clown show of a Presidential race we have here, the politics, the petty partisan squabbling, the talking points and all that God-awful mess.

How can we really solve the world’s problems? I believe we have to look to business leaders – I’m talking real business leaders, not Donald Trump (I’m sorry, Republicans) – and refuse to be stopped by governments.

We should follow the example of billionaires like Bill and Melinda Gates, Richard Branson, Michael Dell, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison (really surprised to see him there, BTW) etc. and simply solve problems! We should look to the leadership of the billionaire’s philanthropy that Warren Buffett started: The Giving Pledge.

So I’m starting small with my mates who are ex-Baan, Baan Fans, friends and family. Jan Baan and many of the Baan founders are jumping in, as evidenced by the heart-warming response I’m getting from my blog ‘The Baan DNA: The Rise, Fall and Resurrection of the Baan Culture’!

After all, the Baan software didn’t matter near as much as the people and the culture that made the Baan Company such a wonderful place to be. I thank God that I stuck with LN and Baan through the hard times and never went to any competitor, such as SAP or Oracle.

Now I believe we’re finally witnessing the comeback of the Baan culture. It makes me feel good in my heart because I’ve been carrying the flag for 20 years. I believe that I am truly the world’s biggest Baan Fan. 🙂

So, how can you be part of the #BaanDNA “movement? Here are some initiatives that my ex-Baan mates are starting. Please connect with me here on LinkedIn if you would like to be a part, or even if you’re just curious.

Then please spread the word about these initiatives through your social networks!

  1. A Baan Reunion to be held later this year at the Vanenburg Castlein the Netherlands. Baan Company founder Jan Baan himself has graciously offered to host! (pretty cool)

  2. A WordPress​ website that will be developed with a little help from my friends and financed through donations. Kind of like Wikipedia, which seems to have worked out pretty well because of people who care!

  3. A KickStarter campaign for $50,000 with 50% of the proceeds going to my friend Wim Hasselman‘s charity Woord en Daad (, a Dutch charitable foundation that helps poverty-stricken communities worldwide. This is your chance to REALLY change the world.

  4. A global database of ex-Baan employees, friends and family that will be used to renew the ties of the Baan Community and foster business relationships. Ex-Baan people are leading companies and communities around the world. I want to bring the Baan Culture and the spirit of the Baan DNA back together. PLUS I want to do business with my friends.

  5. New Baan DNA social networks on LinkedIn​, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ (yes, it’s good for SEO). My feeling is that we can start an integrated social media campaign to get pictures, videos and stories from our “rock star days” and reflect on good times with good friends.

  6. A new Twitter hashtag #baandna to spread the word and have conversations about the ideas that will be in the book. You can also use the hashtag #bigidea2016 for stimulating discussions about what business leaders are saying about trends to watch this year.

  7. A word-of-mouth, grassroots campaign to make these ideas go viral globally. Basically, tell all your friends and connect with me on social media.

I accept all friend requests from ex-Baan employees, friends and family. Just send me an e-mail at I am open to connections on Facebook​ Dan Aldridge and connect requests to Dan Aldridge on LinkedIn. If you follow me on Twitter @danaldridge1 then I will follow you back.


About Dan Aldridge

Dan Aldridge is the founder and CEO of Performa Apps, a manufacturing ERP software consulting firm. Dan is the founder of, a new community for enterprise software enthusiasts, consultants and manufacturing executives. As an Infor LN consultant and ex-Baan ERP consultant, Dan is a vocal evangelist for the “Baan culture” and manufacturing ERP software. He has over 20 years of experience as an ERP consultant, project manager and financial analyst. Dan has helped dozens of manufacturers with their ERP software implementations; Carrier, Siemens, Mercedes Benz, Snap-on Tools, Blue Bird, and Flextronics to name a few. He is a blogger on LinkedIn, and WordPress. His wonderful wife, two boys and two dogs help him remember what’s important every day.

Connect with Dan on LinkedIn, Twitter @danldridge1 and WordPress.

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