I got a text from a close friend and fellow Mac enthusiast, Joe, at 7:33 p.m. this evening.
“Sad day steve jobs died today”
At first, it was kind of an, “Oh, well that’s sad,” moment. Over the next few minutes, though, I mulled over that announcement and came to a realization that I might not be where I am, doing what I am doing, if Steve Jobs had never existed. He, along with several other key players, practically handed us the technological revolution that led us to where we are today. He was pivotal in the development of the modern personal computer. He was a thinker, an imaginer, and an innovator. He was a technological revolutionary, always daring to challenge the status quo and encourage new and astounding endeavors.
He brought creativity to the digital realm. He was an artist surrounded by analysts and programmers.
I bet many of you did not know this, but Jobs had a passion for calligraphy. His love of the written letter and creative typefaces led to the first Mac’s wide array of fonts. It opened doors to massive creative application and the modern graphic design industry. In many of my design theory, mass communication, and technology history classes, we talked about the ways that Steve Jobs influenced the flow of events leading up to the career I pursue. We had an entire unit on him, his achievements, and business ventures in my business class freshman year.
Wrapped up in all the stresses of college, internships, cross-country travel, and learning who I am, I lost track of Steve Jobs over the summer. I remember vaguely hearing that he was ill, but never really registering the severity of the situation. A well-crafted and no-nonsense blog post by one of my heroes, Olivier Blanchard, about Jobs’ withdrawal from Apple awakened me to the seriousness of his illness.
That day, I realized that Superman had a weakness, a fatal foe. It went by the name of pancreatic cancer.
I owe a massive dept of gratitude to Steve, as well as many other innovators who helped shape the graphics, communications, and technology industries that I have come to love and rely on. The MacBook Pro that I write this on is a pivotal part of my everyday life, and it exists because one man dared to be creative, ambitious, and bold. If there ever was a man who deserved to be called a thought leader, it was Steve Jobs.
I know in many ways, this blog post is just one of millions of tributes written by people who never met Steve Jobs. For me, it’s personal. There are people in this world who make such a profound impact one so many lives that it almost goes unnoticed. Even with all this publicity, I feel as though many members of the public are oblivious to how much richer our lives are because of this man.
Thank you, Steve Jobs. Thank you for all the creativity, independent thinking, blood, sweat, tears, time, effort, passion, and drive you put towards revolutionizing the world around us.
“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 other’s 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.” ~ Steve Jobs