“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.” – Steve Jobs
Even though we all know and at some level accept our mortality, the news of Steve Jobs passing on still came as a jarring shock to many of us. None though it was possible for the most influential visionary of our time to pass on. And yet here we stand, wondering if it really is true (the media have killed him off several times on account of his poor health in recent years)
Without a doubt, Jobs is an innovator whose products, ethos and thinking has left an indelible mark on our technology and, perhaps more importantly, our culture. That iPod you’re holding? Steve’s passion is reflected in its tiny screen. That iPhone you ogle at and lust after is a reflection of his relentless drive for excellence and willingness to redefine what we think is possible.
Steve will come to be defined by his mastery of digital technology, but more than that by his intuitive sense of marketing and understanding what a product should be before it is even on the drawing board. Apple is, but one part of his legacy. There’s also Pixar and NeXT, the latter being the company he founded and where OS X and then iOS was born. Steve Jobs will surely become the stuff of legends, for he touched an industry that was inherently ugly and sans aesthetics and made it beautiful and a joy to behold.
Steve Jobs is a titan whose legacy will live on long after the focus on the lacuna he leaves behind vanishes. His ethos and imprint lives on in the Apple product pipeline, and we can only benefit from the vision of a man who truly as mighty as the mythical titans. Jobs admonished Stanford via his commencement speech in 2005 to “stay hungry, stay foolish”. He might as well have been speaking to the world at large, for those words of his from the past will surely echo in eternity.
RIP Steve Jobs. You will be sorely missed.