Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs died today at age 56, and the world lost a creative visionary. Apple enthusiasts will freely admit the significance of the loss, while even those who rejected or denigrated his contributions will nevertheless continue to enjoy for years to come the benefits of the technologies he championed.

I didn’t know Jobs, but I know enough about him to draw a few conclusions from his life and death.

  • Fifty-six years is too young for anyone to die, and it’s a reminder that cancer sucks.
  • His net worth was estimated to be in excess of six billion dollars. Only in science fiction stories can money buy more life. Keep that in mind when setting your priorities.
  • Jobs was respected for his creativity, drive, and vision. But I never heard anyone talk about how much they loved him, or even liked him. He had a wife and kids, and I’m sure many people liked and loved him, but he’ll be remembered for his achievements, not his character. I wonder if that’s a legacy he’d be comfortable with.

In the end, the death of Steve Jobs seems to serve as a reminder of the wisdom of the writer of the book of Ecclesiastes

Vanity of vanities! All is vanity. What advantage does man have in all his work which he does under the sun.

4 comments

  1. Just heard about it and went to the Fire Ant and sure enough you had already posted about it. To me it seems rather quick. Just resigned (seems like yesterday)and now he is gone. I appreciate your comments and do think you are on target. Insightful.

  2. Gene, I had hoped that my first post in nearly a month would be about something more upbeat, but it didn’t work out that way. You’re right; he went quickly. I felt all along that things were more serious than they seemed, or he would never have stepped out the picture like he did.
    Have you seen Apple’s home page yet?

  3. I always get a little uneasy when people react to the death of giants of industry, entertainment, and politics as if they were some form of deity. Maybe folks are wired differently and this is the manner they handle loss. Frankly I reserve my personal outpouring of grief to the close circle of family and friends.
    Mr. Jobs was indeed a special individual whose creativity and vision impacted the occupants of this sphere and will continue to influence our world for decades yet to come. Though I am by practice not a techno-phile that lives for every leap forward in digital ware, I understand how much his work has impacted my life at home and in my professional endeavors.
    Steve’s work typifies what is great and wonderful about our country in that a person can defy the traditional paths of education and create from within the cerebral chasms, in a non-descript garage, a concept that turned into a multi-billion dollar business that employed thousands of people servicing the needs of millions. May I add, since we are currently in the midst of a philosophical discussion concerning government created jobs, that Mr. Job’s ingenuity did not require a check cut from the Treasury.
    There may not be anyone that can fill the shoes vacated by Mr. Job’s premature departure from this life, but I feel confident that through the creative genius and drive of the America entrepreneur which still resides in this blessed land, will in their own unique way, create their own set of shoes to walk in.

  4. Frankly, I haven’t seen many expressions of grief, in the traditional sense of the word. Jobs had a gift for inspiring creativity and excellence, but for most of us, the loss is speculative…we’ve lost whatever it was that he was going to do for us next. I suppose that sounds cynical, but I’m not sure Steve would disapprove of the characterization. He lived to create that “one more thing.”
    But to your great point about creating and building success without the “help” of the federal government, Jobs will be missed in this regard: Apple famously refused to enter the lobbying game (although he did contribute large amounts of his own money to the DNC and ridiculously appointed Al Gore to Apple’s board). That’s a big example of “thinking different” in Silicon Valley.

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