Practically anyone who uses a computer, regardless of the operating system was recently made aware of the demise of Steve Jobs, co-founder of the Apple brand. His story is not simply one of a young, intrepid and ‘geeky’ California boy who made good. His story is about Attitude.
Born in San Francisco, given up for adoption, and raised by his adoptive parents Paul and Clara Jobs, Steve went on to live a multi-cultural and varied university life. He later worked for several tech companies, including Apple who fired him… but he came back years later with a vengeance… the rest is now history.
Many professionals in the graphics, design, entertainment, business, political, tech and now medical and educational fields have acknowledged that they couldn’t achieve what they have without their MACs, iPods, iPads, or iPhones. Some have been spurred into new creative fields that never would have happened otherwise.
Opinions about Mr. Jobs vary with the numbers of people who worked with him, dealt with him on a business as well as personal level, or like the majority of us, read what the media has fed us. Regardless of those opinions – both bad and good – one should go beyond and look at the end results. Thanks to Mr. Job’s ever-inquisitive mind, ‘Never say No’ approach, and ‘Think Different’ motto, the average person is now privy to amazing technologies that were heretofore unthinkable.
Bill Gates (Microsoft) got rich by building fences around his technology, while Mr. Jobs made us all richer by opening our minds. His efforts humanized technology, making gadgets more than just tools – they became our constant companions. We no longer live in the futuristic, space age era… we are already part of it.
So what messages should we carry going forward?
1. Follow your heart. Be passionate in doing what you love. Be inspired.
2. We have the power to change our focus. Why do you do what you do every day? What are you doing it for? What is the purpose of your life? Regardless of age, it is never too late to re-focus.
3. Almost everything melts away in the face of death leaving only what is truly important – make your efforts count.
Mr. Jobs’ legacy is to take a leap of faith, to know that The Best is never good enough – call it perfectionism, call it single-mindedness, but striving to always do something better is not a bad thing. If it were, we would still be walking great distances (no wheels), reading and writing on stone tablets (no printing presses), communicating via smoke signals or drum beats (no telephones, no internet), and losing loved ones at early ages (no penicillin, new age drugs and treatments). Let it not be said that there is no solution to a problem, or there is no way to accomplish something… you know you are either part of the problem or part of the solution. ‘Thinking Differently’ is indeed how we can change the world.