I just learned that Steve Jobs died last night.
Like so many of you, I am awash with emotion.
Of course, I’m sad that the man who has shaped so much of our environment today has passed on, leaving a legacy of ideas on which the next generation of charismatic and critical thinkers can build upon.
But I’m also optimistic.
The legacy that Mr. Jobs leaves behind covers some much ground that it’s hard to take it all in. Still there is one bit about the man that has me thinking at this very moment, and I hope it will affect many more as it is now affecting me.
If I look back on the last two years it seems likely to me that Mr. Jobs knew that his time was short, that all of the medical hurdles he cleared was done to give him just a bit more time to make sure that, even if he couldn’t finish what he started, he could at least make sure it had a fighting chance. That is what has affected me. Even when he knew his end was near he kept pushing, kept reaching, kept trying.
What was it he started? The obvious answer would be the Apple and the products the company creates. Steve never hid the fact that he loved what he did at Apple, and it’s likely that a lot of his time was spent shoring up the company’s brain trust and product pipeline.
But to say that Mr. Jobs fought to live a few extra months just to see a new iPhone be announced somehow diminishes the man because he was so much more than any gadget or company.
I won’t pretend to know why Steve fought so hard for his extras moments, but knowing what little I do of the man, I have to believe it was very important to him.
That, above all other things, is what I’ll remember about Mr. Jobs: He didn’t waste time on crap. If something was worth doing, then it needed to be done the absolute best way it can be. The task requires focus and drive, and the end results has to mean something. It’s a lesson we can all learn from. I believe I have.
There will be stories all over the world talking about Mr. Jobs and his Apple legacy. There will be some stories detailing his life and examining the man he was. I won’t add to it because I really can’t say much beyond this: my sympathies go out to the family of Mr. Jobs. They must be feeling especially saddened now. I hope that the world at large understands that and allow them the decency to grieve in private.
Rest in peace Mr. Jobs. You knew this days was coming quickly, maybe we all did. It doesn’t lessen the loss. You will be missed.