Steve Jobs

I must admit, that throughout most of my technical career, I have wielded the swords and carried the banners of the Microsoft Windows side of the Crusade.  It was that, after all, a bloody, holy war pitting the more expensive, elitist Apple Computer products against the commoditized and much more accepted by business, IBM PC products.  Such is the absurdity of youth.  So easy, it is, to fall prey to the “religious wars”, so easy to ally oneself with where one’s bread is buttered and so easy to ignore true genius of Steve Jobs as it was being unveiled.

I guess it’s the ability I have now in my somewhat older years, to actually stop and pay attention and see what’s happened for the first time.  No one can question that not only was Steve Jobs an amazing visionary who could see what the consumer wanted before they even knew it themselves, but he was also a shrewd businessman who built his business into one of the most profitable corporations ever.  Steve and his company transformed multiple industries as they shaped a better future for us.   And I, for one, am grateful, and more than just a little humbled and embarrassed by my prior stance on his contributions.

But maybe what’s even more important to me is to have learned something recently about how Steve Jobs lived his life.  Quoting  Steve’s Commencement Address at Stanford University on June 12, 2005,

 When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like, “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.”  Since then… 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.  Your time is limited…  Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice.  And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition…  Everything else is secondary.

Beyond all the great technology, and the tremendous business leadership and the monumental changes in industry he brought about, and beyond the quiet charity he gave, Steve stands up as an example of what’s important in life and how to live it.  Maybe it struck me so hard because Steve passed away at roughly my current age, I’m not sure.

Thank you Steve, for all you did in creating Apple and for setting a standard that is unmatched in the tech industry.  And thank you, for reminding me what life is supposed to be for, and setting an example of how great that can be.  And thank you, Steve, for reminding me to follow my heart and my intuition!  I’ll never forget you for that!