Steve Jobs, 1955 – 2011

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share.
~~ Steve Jobs ~~

Steve Jobs

I had planned to post something different in the morning, but just over an hour ago I saw the news on the Internet of the death of Apple founder Steve Jobs. The fear I wrote of, just a little more than a month ago, that his time might be short, has sadly been realized.

In June of 2005 Jobs left a touching and timely commencement message with the graduating students of Stanford University. From his unique perspective and very personal experiences he urged those graduates to pursue their dreams and to look to the various setbacks of life for the opportunities that present themselves, including death itself.

I’m not sure why I am as saddened about Jobs’ death as I am. I guess it has something to do with his young age and all that he had to offer the world, now cut short in the prime of his life. The world won’t be the same without Steve.

I grew up with him from the time I was a twenty-something adult and he just two years younger. I was amazed at his success and at what he had accomplished in so short a time.  He was among the first of a new breed of young entrepreneurs that would make a huge impact on our world as we know it. His inventions from an early day — long before all those iThings — had a special appeal with me. Later I would sell some of them, including the first Apple Macintosh in 1984.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who described Jobs tonight as a colleague, competitor and friend, over the course of more than half their lives, said this after learning of his friend’s death:

The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes, 15 to be exact, to learn about who I believe the real Steve Jobs was. Not the famously demanding taskmaster, nor the one on-stage giving a keynote address or introducing a new leading-edge product in his trademark faded jeans, black mock turtleneck and tennis shoes. But rather the one who speaks from his heart about the weightier matters of life. The things that are really important. It’s Steve Jobs at his finest and the way I will fondly remember him.

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3 thoughts on “Steve Jobs, 1955 – 2011

  1. Thanks Rick, for writing your thoughts about this incredible man and especially, thanks for posting the video of that speech. Now, if I could only figure out what it is I really would like to do with my life! Then again, maybe I achieved part of my own “dream” when I finally graduated from college at the ripe old age of almost 50! It only took me 32 years to achieve that goal so why should I think that it may not take me a whole lot more years to figure out what I’d like to be when I grow up?

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