October 7th, 2011

I am having the same response that a lot of people apparently are.  I didn’t know Steve Jobs.  I am only a recent Mac convert.  I am not an early adopter of new technology.  On the contrary, I tend to be late to the new gadget game.  And yet, I find myself surprisingly affected by the death of Steve Jobs.

He was both at the top of his field and an underdog.  He was a visionary and a pragmatist.  He was incredibly experienced and incredibly young.  Like so many people, he was a collection of dichotomies.  And there is something about him that really resonates with me; with many of us.

When I think realistically about it I recognize that Apple is a huge company and that their products are the result of countless people’s input.  Steve Jobs didn’t do it alone.  But it was his dream that pushed the company so far, so many times.  It was his inspiration and leadership that drove his employees to do his good work.  So I wonder what shape his company will take in his absence.

More than anything, though, I feel sad for the loss of an incredible person.  He changed things – really changed things.  That isn’t something that can be said about many people.  Innovators only come along once in a while and he truly was one.  I am sad for his wife and kids.  To them he wasn’t merely the face of a company, but an integral part of a family.  And I am sad for all the free thinkers who lost an incredible role model.  In that vein, I thought it appropriate to share this Apple ad that aired back in 1997.  A current version would certainly include Steve Jobs himself.


4 Responses to “Affected”

  1. TheKitchenWitch Says:

    I’m sad, too. It’s so unfair to take such a brilliant, big-hearted person while so many trolls still wander the Earth.

  2. Gale Says:

    I wanted to follow up my post with these thoughts from Jon Stewart. In his Moment of Zen segment last night he commented that other visionaries such as Thomas Edison or Henry Ford were old men when they died; that when they passed we were able to feel like we had wrung everything out of them that we could. Stewart went on to comment that with Steve Jobs his death leaves us with the feeling of, “Ahhh, but we weren’t done with you yet!” And in addition to everything else that is tragic about his death, I think this sentiment really encapsulates a lot of the national sadness that is being expressed.

    The entire Moment of Zen clip can be found here.

  3. anne Says:

    I felt a surprising pang of sadness about this too. Last year, at this time, I was teaching a class where I featured him, so I spent some time learning about him and about his life. And liked him even more. I’m sure it’s been played lots already, but his graduation address at Stanford is well worth a watch if you haven’t seen it. Or just want to see it again. Inspiring guy.

  4. Cathy Says:

    I live in the SF Bay Area and his death is very “close”. It’s extremely sad to see such an awesome visionary pass at such a young age. I have found myself quoting and tweeting little bits of him over the course of the past few days.