Thoughts on Steve Jobs
I’ve taken a few days since the passing of Steve Jobs to read all of the tributes online and in the news. I’ve scanned my social networks, news articles and blogs to read the stories of journalists who attended those famous black-turtleneck-and-blue-
jeans product launches and…for the lucky few…the writers who had some personal encounters with the Apple co-founder. I’ve taken some time to reflect on what Steve Jobs meant to me…how he inspired so many of us.
And I’ve asked…how many company leaders would receive the worldwide mourning that has come with the passing of Steve Jobs?
Visionary. Pioneer. American Innovator. Those were some of the most common tributes to Steve Jobs and what he accomplished in his 56 years of life. I humbly offer another…one that really emerged for me as a source of inspiration…Steve Jobs was a transformational figure. He changed the world. He made it a better place. One of the top ways Steve Jobs did that is he TRANSFORMED us, he transformed culture and he transformed and the roles of technology, entertainment. communications and business in our lives.
He didn’t just create new products. He created new lifestyles around technology, making us more mobile, more connected, and more informed than ever before.
He transformed our relationship with technology. Thanks to Steve Jobs, technology from the computer to the music player became more personal and less intimidating. It became something that went from our offices to our homes to our pockets.
I often talk about those who are on my list of misfits…revolutionaries who, at times, look like they don’t fit. Then time reveals them as those who changed the way WE fit. It’s a famous story…Steve Jobs founded Apple, then was pushed out of Apple, only to return years later and take the company from the brink of dissolution to the heights of the world’s most valuable.
Even in the time he was away from Apple, Steve Jobs transformed us with ventures like Pixar Animation Studios, turning the graphics firm in the Oscar-winning studio home of “Toy Story,” “Cars,” “Finding Nemo,” “Up,” and “Ratatouille.”
Steve Jobs had his setbacks. There were products and projects that failed. We won’t remember those. We’ll remember Steve Jobs as an incredible success. He didn’t let setbacks stop him. He learned from them and he pushed those who worked with him to try again, try harder, Think Different.
In even his greatest challenge — the illness that claimed his life — he shared his lesson with us. Perhaps it will be his greatest lesson…a reminder that our time here is limited and making the most of it should be the mission of our lives.
“Death is the destination we all share. It’s life’s change agent. Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of someone else’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”