Steve Jobs, 1955-2011
Our normal Friday feature usually involves a meandering story followed by some links. I’m going to pass on that today to honor the passing of Steve Jobs, who died on Wednesday at 56 years of age. He was a hero to me and many others. He indisputably made the world a better place.
I’m an unapologetic Apple fan, and I have been since I was in middle school. It’s safe to say that were it not for Steve Jobs and the Macintosh, I might never have had my interest in computers kindled to the point where I would make a career out of staring at them. Say what you want about open vs. closed, the secretive culture Jobs built, or Apple’s products: nobody in the history of computing has cared as much about his users’ experience as much as Jobs did. Some would argue that he obsessed on UX to a fault, but standing here looking at Apple — especially the results of Jobs’ second act — those claims ring pretty thin. Even though the word ‘innovation’ is slathered in the cruft of marketing BS, Jobs and Apple actually honored the word in ways that most other companies simply cannot comprehend.
When I learned of his passing, I had just brought my son home from soccer practice and sat down on the couch for a moment with my iPad. Immediately after opening Twitter, I realized what had happened. I had a deep wariness that Jobs wasn’t doing well when I read the announcement that he was stepping down as Apple’s CEO, but I didn’t know the day was so near.
It was hours later when I finally realized that I learned of his passing on a device that he invented, as I’m sure many others did. The closest we had to a modern day Leonardo Da Vinci was gone, lost to cancer, a life cut short.
Before it’s too late, everyone should take a screenshot of Apple’s homepage. It’s a simple picture. A picture entitled, if you dig a little deeper into the filename, t_hero.png.
First, there’s John Gruber, who met Jobs up close once before Jobs’ final keynote and noticed grass stains on Jobs’ famous New Balance 991s. Why the grass stains? How’d they get there?
Mac app developer Panic says goodbye.
Want heartbreaking? Here’s Steve Jobs himself narrating The Crazy Ones. Gives me chills.
Here’s Neven Mrgan’s retrospective, simply entitled Steve. Don’t miss it.
Wired’s entire homepage is a homage to Steve Jobs. Some amazing, touching quotes there.
Marc Benioff: “There would not be a salesforce.com without Steve Jobs.”
Finally, I don’t know of a better way to end this post than to quote Steve himself from his famous 2005 commencement speech to Stanford’s graduating class:
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
Whatever the afterlife may be, it just got a huge upgrade.
“Don’t be sad because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss
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