Every generation is defined by a small handful of people. They etch their place in history thanks to their contributions to it.
Steve Jobs was one such man.
From his humble beginnings to building the most successful tech company in the world Steve Jobs never lost sight of his goal.
His vision was “”to get a computer in the hands of everyday people” and he did that and so much more. To again quote Steve Jobs, “We (Apple) succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.”
He did not invent the MP3 technology, but today when people reach for their music player 73.8% of them are Apple products.
He made MP3 players easy to use, easy to organize and maybe most important of all, hip.
Thanks to his success with the iPod he went on to develop the iPhone, Apple’s second revolutionary device in the past decade, and then the iPad which took the world by storm.
Sadly 2 days ago, on Oct. 5th, 2011, Steve Jobs died.
There has been an outpouring of sorrow from people all over the world in all walks of life, here are two that I found worth sharing:
Statement from President Barack Obama
“Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs. Steve was among the greatest of American innovators – brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it.
By building one of the planet’s most successful companies from his garage, he exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity.
By making computers, personal and putting the internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution, not only accessible, but intuitive and fun.
And by turning his talents to storytelling, he has brought joy to millions of children and grownups alike.
Steve was fond of saying that he lived every day like it was his last. Because he did, he transformed our lives, redefined entire industries, and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way each of us sees the world.
The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented.
Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Steve’s wife Laurene, his family, and all those who loved him.”
Statement from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
“Tonight, America lost a genius who will be remembered with Edison and Einstein, and whose ideas will shape the world for generations to come.
Again and again over the last four decades, Steve Jobs saw the future and brought it to life long before most people could even see the horizon.
And Steve’s passionate belief in the power of technology to transform the way we live brought us more than smart phones and iPads: it brought knowledge and power that is reshaping the face of civilization.
In New York City’s government, everyone from street construction inspectors to NYPD detectives have harnessed Apple’s products to do their jobs more efficiently and intuitively.
Tonight our City – a city that has always had such respect and admiration for creative genius – joins with people around the planet in remembering a great man and keeping Laurene and the rest of the Jobs family in our thoughts and prayers.”
With all that he accomplished I thought we should take the listen to some of his sage wisdom.
Here are a few of personal favorite quotes:
- “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”
- “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 other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
- “Design is not just what it looks like. Design is how it works.”
- “Stay hungry, stay foolish.”
- “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me.”
- “You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.”
- “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
- “When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: ‘If you life each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.’ It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been, ‘No,’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
I have also included a video of the commencement speech he made to Standford back in 2005. It is 15 minutes that are well worth listening to.
Today the world lost a good man, but his story will be told for eons to come.