Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs passed away today after years from battling cancer. He was 56.
To say that he will be missed is truly an understatement. A visionary, a showman, an icon, his influence on the world of technology has been deeply felt, with revolutionary products like the Macintosh, the iPod, the iPhone, and most recently, the iPad. His passion and joy for technology has inspired millions of people around the world. President Obama released a statement earlier in which he said: “there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented.”
Jobs was also known for his public failures, for instance when Apple forced him out in 1985 as CEO of the company he had founded. But, his refusal to accept his fate and unrelenting desire to continue doing what he loved, ultimately enabled him to return to Apple in the 90’s where he lead one of the most remarkable runs in business history.
Now, a day after another much-talked about Apple event has come and gone, we witness the end of a legend. Apple may not be the same without its incredible leader, but his fingerprints can be seen everywhere in the company. When a leader as influential as Jobs passes, we mourn his loss and remember the countless lessons he has taught us. I thought it be fitting that I close this post with one of my favorite quotes from Steve:
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. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. [Stanford commencement speech, June 2005]
Farewell, Steve. While I dreaded this day when you would have to leave this world, I want you to know that you’ve inspired me to always stay true to myself, and do what I love.