“I want to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise, why bother?” – Steve Jobs
So, for Steve the final curtain closed; Steve Jobs is gone at only 56 years old! It is a sad day for us all, CEO’s and Gamers alike. I just heard Jack Welch, the legendary leader of General Electric, by some estimations the most savvy business leader of our time. Wolf Blitzer asked Jack if Steve Jobs could be defined as the best CEO of our time. Jack answered, “…you would go very far to find someone that is better!”
That is high praise indeed.
I’m not going to do a eulogy ort his life’s timeline. That will be done by others far more eloquently, or after conducting better research than I am able to devote to the task. What I am going to is offer a few thoughts of my own.
Steve was known for his “hands-on” method of operation. He was certainly a Marketing Genius; a genius that spoke to our entire ‘inner child’. He allowed us to dream of what we would like do to explore history, to be entertained wherever we were, with devices and infrastructure that were both elegant and highly functional as, for instance, a clothes pin. It is simple, it works every time, and it endures throughout time.
When I focused on technology for my life’s work, when I was usually up to my armpits in IBM hardware, anti-virus tools, stubborn and awkward software – there was this visionary out in Cupertino CA, that was the Son of Merlin the Magician – spinning out concepts and producing amazing product that filled our needs; needs that we didn’t even know that we had! His software was not susceptible to virus or worm attacks, there was no “Blue Screen of Death”, and you did not spend hours configuring the Hardware, Operating System and Applications to do what you desired them to do. You just pushed the Power Button on your Mac AIR, saw the screen light up, and present your desktop to you. You clicked on the necessary icon and off you go!
I resisted the Apple world for a long time. After having more than a dozen desktop computers and half dozen laptops, I have never bought an Apple. Perhaps it is that I know the Wintel environment so well and like the ability that I have for customization. Perhaps it is the fact that there are many more applications for the Windows world than there are for Apple OS. When the iPod devices came out, I was sold. For many years I had fooled around with 8-Track, Cassette, and tape music systems, and I had had them up to my neck. With the iPod, there was elegance, simplicity, a terrific integration with my desktop through iTunes. I never looked back at the music devices of old. I’m on my second iPod and I bought an iPhone a year ago. I am currently lusting after my own iPad. As they say in the Cayman Islands, “Soon Com Mon, soon com”…..
And along the way, there was the Brilliant acquisition of (Disney) PIXAR, and that very elegant and powerful NeXT computing platform. His vision was equal with Einstein, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, William Randolph Hearst and the other titans of past industrial ages. His stature, his creativity, his drive, his desire to burn his fingers on a soldering iron, his flair for promotion, and his humility will endure forever.
Apple, the company will be fine. He put the plans in place as soon as he know that he would not see much further into this decades. In Tim Cook he has placed his trust and we can only hope that Tim can keep the dream alive! What is gone is that brilliant, creative spark and his overwhelming drive to push the limits – bringing his ideas into reality, no matter what others thought.
The world has lost one of the greatest Heroes and Role Models of our generation. Let us embrace the beliefs and principals of Steve Jobs, and in some small way, attempt to keep his spirit and FUN that he brought to this life alive!
Steve, you put a billion dents in the universe and the world is much better for it!