This feels really strange. Yesterday Steve Jobs passed away. I didn’t know Steve, I never even met him, even so, tears fills my eyes when my fingers hit the keys on my MacBook Pro and I attempt to write this. And despite the fact that I never met him, it still feels quite normal calling him Steve instead of ”Mr Jobs” or ”Jobs”. It’s probably because the creations of his company is such a big part of my life.
Steve Jobs’ life’s work is truly unique. He was pinnacle in the popularization of the personal computer in the eighties. Then in the early 2000s his vision, along with the hard work of all the talented people at Apple, did what the music industry had failed to to; embrace the new technology and make money from it.
In the never-ending cycle of paradigm shifts in technology it’s no surprise that the popularity of the iPods would eventually demise. Nor is the fact that the omnipresence of the personal computer will soon decline in favor of other very personal computer devices. The remarkable thing about Steve’s achievements is that he was just as important in the popularization of the new smartphones and the actual creation of any kind of a real ”tablet market” as he was almost three decades ago when the personal computer where born, and ten years ago at the beginning of digital music sales. When the time has come to start the demise of one of his products, he has been the one in the frontline for the new up-and-coming paradigm. In en era when ”entrepreneur” is one of the most overused buzzwords, Steve is the one that will be remembered hundreds of years from now. He is the one that can truly be called an entrepreneur, as Schumpeter first defined the word; someone who drives the innovations and technological changes of entire nations.
So here’s to the crazy one. Steve, it’s been an honor to be able to take advantage of all the amazing things that has come out of Apple under your leadership and vision. To me you personified The American Dream and taught all of us to go our own way and work for what we believe in.
It was hard to begin writing this post but it’s even harder to stop writing it. Is guess the best way to end it is with two quotes from Steve, the first one from his 2005 commencement address at Stanford:
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
Then finally this second one, from his letter of resignation that was sent on August 24. It gets a new meaning now, even if you – like me – don’t believe in life after death.
I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.