This post is not about readers or comment, its about being able to offer some thanks and some praise in my own personal way to a man i have the highest admiration for and who’s life has tragically ended.
It’s strange to have formed such a complete opinion of another person without ever having met them. This is (I can’t bring myself to say ‘was’ yet) the case with Steve Jobs. I’ve come to realize this in the past daywhile reading the tributes, the letters and the well wishes for Steve and his family.
I’m no Apple junkie, not that I don’t buy every new toy that they make purely because I feel cooler just playing with it, but generally they end up lying around the house after a while (all of em except the iPod – they either live on or get lost cause every time I get a new one it’s like a tenth of the size of the last one!)
So, I didn’t ‘drink the cool aid’ and I wouldn’t follow the man off a cliff HOWEVER I have probably listened to every talk he ever gave, read anything he ever wrote or was written about him and sat like a spell bound kid for every hour I sat doing so! Steve was just special like that. He could create things that people hadn’t even thought of yet. He was the absolute epitome of a man who didn’t exist to win, but rather to win by such a margin that the opposition felt insulted for taking part in the same race. He was the Michael Jordan, the Tiger Woods, and the Lionel Messi of whatever he put his mind to and while most people know and love him for his contributions through Apple, the most impressive stuff was before.
In May 1985, Steve was essentially ousted from the company he helped create, to be blunt. Most people would have been devastated, spending the rest of their lives seeking some sort of retribution. He merely dusted himself off, picked up his bike, got back on and started racing a new race, as if all along he knew this was part of the plan. He started a company called NeXT developing technologies (most of which are used in Apple products today). From NeXT to Pixar where he gave the world a new (well not new but basically revolutionized) medium for animated full length movies. What I’ve summed up in two sentences most men would not come close to accomplishing in 10 lifetimes, Steve did it in a matter of years.
When the Apple board basically came crawling back, Steve regained his rightful place at the head of the company he once fashioned but this time he was not in it to compete with the world, he was in it to obliterate them. Consumers like me and you were merely the beneficiaries of the bi-products we know as Macs, iPhones, iPod’s & iPad’s. Steve managed to make us all feel like kids on xmas morning when he got up onto stage and he knew exactly how to work it, he was perhaps one of the greatest communicators of ideas (while actually removing your credit card to purchase them simultaneously) I’ve ever had the privilege of seeing and like any legend of his time he will not be replaced easily if at all.
It was almost as if Steve held on to see one last launch, one last glint of excitement in everyone’s eyes before he passed away – hopefully he felt at ease with who he had left his magnificent legacy to.
The world has no idea what it loses when it loses a true visionary. The graph of human progression angles ever so slightly lower now, we may still get there but certainly not as fast as if we had Steve steering the ship. The world is a poorer place without a man like Steve Jobs, but unlike most, he left us a legacy that’s in almost every man woman and child’s hands, ears and desks. So often he gave us a gift of the future but without him the portal seems to be closed and we will have to be content with mere mortals and average progression for a while.
I will leave you with a clip you have probably seen, if you haven’t however, I assure you, listening to this man tell his ‘simple’ story to a graduating Harvard class will make you truly understand why today, the whole world should mourn the loss of a modern day legend!