What We've Lost And What We've Gained
I shed my tears when Steve Jobs stepped down less than six weeks ago. That's when I knew it was over. The news came to me last night during a board dinner. My 18 year old daughter kik'd me. I asked her if she was sure. She said "it's all over twitter". I interrupted the lively dinner conversation. "I've got some important news. Steve Jobs has passed away". Six entrepreneurs and VCs in that room. Among the best I've ever worked with. And not one of us said anything for a minute or two. What can you say?
The iconic entrepreneur of the information age is gone. We are all mortal. Steve more so than his peers it seems. But really he had no peer. There are great entrepreneurs all over the place. But Steve was better than all of them. He is a role model for entrepreneurs everywhere. And so many entrepreneurs use him as such.
So we've lost the man. He will no longer bring us great products. He will no longer bring us the future in the present.
But we've gained a legend. He will inspire others to bring us great products. He will inspire others to bring us the future in the present.
May he rest in peace.
‘The Crazy Ones’ – narrated by Steve Jobshttp://bit.ly/nlBbDa
You beat me to it L1ad. I was just writing a comment with that link as you posted it up. I’ve edited my link out.
mind meld on AVC this morningnot surprising really given the topic
I asked on Twitter last night whether anyone else’s death would result in such a widespread outpouring of grief.A couple people mentioned The Pope, but I don’t think so.
someone said to me last night that it was a “diana moment”to which i replied “but steve did stuff”
I think you are underestimating what Diana did on a charitable basis.
i may be. i’m not a student of diana. but i really don’t think diana is in steve’s league in terms of what she did while on this earth
Steve is like Jordan a self made “icon”. Diana is a product of mass media. There is no doubt about it.
A person who starts a company is unique in at least one aspect that a “Diana” isn’t.People work for that company and people get married to people they meetand learn things as well that they use later in life.(Especially when working for a great company.)People move because of that company. Other companies are spun off and other (support and ancillary) companies thrive because of that company. Babies are born and people are given opportunity.Not to take away from Diana’s charity but the *impact* of someone like Jobs is tremendous in scale. Because even in the small company that I ran there were babies born that wouldn’t exist if not for that company and me. And atleast two employees there learned enough to maketheir own wildly successful companies.This applies (on a smaller scale than Steve) to a FredWilson or Paul Graham just to name two people. Youngpeople are making life changing decisions because ofwhat these guys say and have done. That’s going to make change andopportunity for years to come. And Fred, therewill be babies born because of things you have doneand will do. And because of the companies that youhave funded. And if the people from those companiesmake enough money they will give to charity andhelp the world as well.
agreed.With Diana and perhaps also JFK’s death, the outpouring was of shock.With Steve’s, it’s grief
I agree with your comment (but can’t reply directly to it…grrr) below about being in the same league
Is like comparing apples to pears but undoubtedly two great people – very different, but nothing wrong with that.Diana’s mourning was a weirdly compelling one – on the day of the funeral I drove to Althorp – as I grew up just a few miles away and knew all the back lanes intimately – just to place a rose at one of the main gate along with a copy of Desiderata. I am not remotely interested in the celebrity culture and wasn’t that interested in Diana in the news, but when she suddenly (and violently) died it had a remarkable and unexpected effect on me – and on many others also. A lot of it I later understood to be because my mother had the beauty of Diana and died when I was just 10 – the combined loss of a beautiful mother/person and the two young sons clearly resonated with me.Jobs seems to be having a similar effect, but for different reasons – the important thing is he has positively touched people’s lives – as Diana also did. It is to be celebrated that ‘good’ people can have such a global impact in these sadly cynical times we live in.It is a strange kind of grief – it’s not like being ripped-apart – such as when our 17yo nephew suddenly died last year. Is more of a vicarious/visceral feeling for a public figure one has somehow related to – even if it is subconscious.Will we ever see his like again?
different platforms, different leagues, different stuff, different beginnings, different uses of media for each of themboth were major inspirations for mewhen i heard the news last night while driving i had the same feeling i had when diana died and lennon diedi will never forget exactly where i was, the enormous empty feeling and then processsing all the sadness with determination that i’ll also never forget how they shaped who i am – a nerdy engineer who embraces her gender and tries to do good in the world
Well…Diana kicked the monarchy in their butt. That’s a big doing. No comparison in terms of achievements, but in terms of people’s shock and outpouring of emotions, and remembering where you were when you heard the news, and legacy- Yes.
Well, she was a mother but that part of her did not scale.I agree w LIAD with Diana it was more shock but also she was unique in her vulnerability, the degree to which her life was totally exposed.We live in a different world now where everybody’s as exposed as they wanna be but she was the first and she really struggled with it.I think for girls the Diana message was more — “rely on Prince Charming? Not so much.”And while her charitable works were commendable, she didn’t — and frankly didn’t have permission to — articulate a sizzling vision about it and deliver it to the world. That would’ve been ‘inappropriate’. Anyway, paparazzi were still focused in taking snaps of her in her bikini on a boat.In terms of world impact, Steve Jobs, hands down.
Whilst I agree with you that Jobs’ legacy and impact on the world is greater than Diana’s her charitable works were way more than commendable and actually I’d argue that once she was free of the shackles of the Royal Family she did focus down on her vision.She was going to Africa meeting and hugging kids dying from AIDS when the rest of the world was burying their heads in the sand. She was one of the most prominent supporters of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. She also worked really hard for both Great Ormond Street (one of my favourite charities) and the Royal Marsden Hospitals.
You know — really good point on both those causes. And frankly you’re eminently more qualified to judge that based on where you sit. We probably didn’t see enough of that in the States. There was zero awareness of landmines before Diana called attention to it and it was totally groundbreaking for someone like her to hug children/people with AIDS. People in their 20’s now may not know what a massive social stigma there was to it. People thought they could catch it. And to Africa — until then people literally didn’t care.
Exactly what I said to my wife last night. I was watching CNBC when the news broke and it became wall wall Steve coverage.And using computers back when nobody cared about computers and people who did care sat in rooms out of sight …well back then I could never imagine a day would come like this when someone in this industry would be loved and have tributes like this.You’re right “steve did stuff”. And what Steve did changed practically everybody’s lives in a positive way.
We shouldn’t be comparing Diana and Steve.The shock of Diana’s passing was due to the surprise. Steve was letting everyone know it was coming soon and in a dignified way. He didn’t bounce around trying to claim credit for everything… in fact, you could see his trying to outline opportunities coming, doing so with passion.
I never got the reaction to Diana.I get the reaction to Steve Job’s passing, but I still found the outpouring of love for him surprising, given that he didn’t do the sort of things that billionaires who want to be loved by strangers usually do. I elaborated some on that on my blog a few days ago.
I think you are probably right.
The diversity of people mourning his loss and celebrating his life has been quite amazing – shows just how ubiquitous the Apple culture has become – people from all walks of life understand what he achieved, and what made him and Apple so special. He has touched more lives than most mortals can ever dream of.War? Politics? Religion? No. Greatness.
he was amazing Carl. Whether we see someone like him in our lifetime, possibly not. But people like that do come along in every generation. Somehow I think they are sent to advance the human race a little further.
Richard, I can’t reply in line (due to disqus limit) but I want to add voice to your comment expressing the value and importance of Diana’s charitable endeavors. I’m glad that you mentioned her passion for clearing land mines. As one who spends a lot of time in S.E. Asia and seeing so many people (including children) with missing limbs due to land mines, I was always very happy that she was so passionate about this often forgotten cause. Steve Jobs was truly incredible as an entrepreneur, but I prefer not to compare the value of iPods to children’s safety, or subsistence farmers’ legs, etc. They’re just very different. I’m not criticizing those who compare the impact of their deaths, just emphasizing that they were different.
very different Dale. Diana definitely “did stuff” and it was “stuff that mattered”Maybe it was just not so well publicised in the States
It’s funny that you post this video. It reminds me that madness rules the world. If you look at fish swarm, those who break the rules are the leaders. And Steve understood this universal principle subconsciously.In our own startup I can clearly see that the most creative people have the most significant impact on a startup as they lead the other 99%
Gained a legend is so right Fred.Funnily enough my new Galaxy S2 turned up this morning which I intend to replace my iPhone 3GS with. I haven’t turned it on yet as it is charging. My instant reaction when I took it out of the box – it isn’t as beautiful as my 3GS.
Wow, Richard. Thank you for sharing this. Helps bring the tears I’ve been needing to shed.I’ll never be a Steve Jobs but I so relate to this.I’m not even a true Apple fan in terms of using the products — although I’ve bought plenty of them for my kids, but I recognize the genius of what Apple represents and appreciate the trail that Steve Jobs has blazed.
I’m no Apple fan either Donna, owning an iPhone has certainly helped me understand why the people in my office are such rabid mac fans. Hasn’t converted me though!
i called apple “evil” on stage. my partner Albert explains the reasons behind that statement better than i have ever done. http://continuations.com/po…
that post is bang on.I’m loving Android on the Galaxy S2. Competition is a wonderful thing.
my thoughts are the same as everyone on this. yesterday i wanted to post on my blog for some weird reason i didn’t end up doing so. please note that my thoughts are not in reaction to this but were from yesterday, before the sad news.what i wanted to write about was how i dont believe there is a better phone that will give one a better experience than an iphone. more personally, being open, objective and honest, there is no phone, smart phone, mobile device that gives me a better experience than an iphone.there is no laptop that gives me a better experience than a macbook pro. there is no desktop experience, for me, better than an iMac and there is no better tablet experience i will derive from any product than an iPad. no software or company i love more than Apple and no artists, businessman or leader I admire more than Steve Jobs. I love and miss you sir.Pixar is my favorite production company in the world and has always been in my opinion. Apple have the greatest music, tv, film collection on earth. I feel so much love and admiration for Steve Jobs that i cant express it in words.i listened to this a couple months ago and is well worth the read or listenhttp://www.audible.com/pd/r…http://www.amazon.com/Steve…and will read this on release day on my iPad.http://www.amazon.com/Steve…i am holding back tears today.please keep innovating and making the world a better place all.thank you for this great stuff and fighting the good fight Fred and all the wonderful readers!
There’s also no “user interface” like the Apple retail experience.
Great point! No one’s talking about that. He transformed the retail experience too.
A read somewhere an account of how the retail genius that Steve hired came into his office 2 weeks before the scheduled grand opening, told Steve the entire layout of the store was backwards.He flipped.Thought about it for a day or two – and then changed everything because the retail lead was right!
That’s *really* interesting. Because all the other stories talk about how he didn’t listen to anybody. Sounds like here he did, to excellent result.
Amen!Steve’s last words on his inspiring speech at Stanford:”Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.”
The reaction actually took Twitter (and its API) down for about half an hour earlier. Wrote a long piece this morning about Jobs’ death for AllTwitter, and collecting all the quotes and tributes – especially from other tech giants – was a very moving experience. RIP, Steve. You will be missed.
twitter is a perfect medium for the outpouring of love and grief
I liked how the NYT called the Twitter outtage the “21 Gun Salute” of the information age.
i missed that. the NYT still has the ability to nail it
Amen.We are all here for such a brief time. Let’s make the most of it.
Inspiration and direction are what heroes give.Steve did that and more.He handed the reigns of technology to my imagination to use unfettered. A great gift that still gives.
This is originally posted from Vic Gundotra: ” Icon Ambulance” from Google+ one of the best lesson i have so far red about Steve Jobs, I wanna share with you. Amazing.——One Sunday morning, January 6th, 2008 I was attending religious services when my cell phone vibrated. As discreetly as possible, I checked the phone and noticed that my phone said “Caller ID unknown”. I choose to ignore.After services, as I was walking to my car with my family, I checked my cell phone messages. The message left was from Steve Jobs. “Vic, can you call me at home? I have something urgent to discuss” it said. Before I even reached my car, I called Steve Jobs back. I was responsible for all mobile applications at Google, and in that role, had regular dealings with Steve. It was one of the perks of the job. “Hey Steve – this is Vic”, I said. “I’m sorry I didn’t answer your call earlier. I was in religious services, and the caller ID said unknown, so I didn’t pick up”. Steve laughed. He said, “Vic, unless the Caller ID said ‘GOD’, you should never pick up during services”. I laughed nervously. After all, while it was customary for Steve to call during the week upset about something, it was unusual for him to call me on Sunday and ask me to call his home. I wondered what was so important?”So Vic, we have an urgent issue, one that I need addressed right away. I’ve already assigned someone from my team to help you, and I hope you can fix this tomorrow” said Steve. “I’ve been looking at the Google logo on the iPhone and I’m not happy with the icon. The second O in Google doesn’t have the right yellow gradient. It’s just wrong and I’m going to have Greg fix it tomorrow. Is that okay with you?”Of course this was okay with me. A few minutes later on that Sunday I received an email from Steve with the subject “Icon Ambulance”. The email directed me to work with Greg Christie to fix the icon. Since I was 11 years old and fell in love with an Apple II, I have dozens of stories to tell about Apple products. They have been a part of my life for decades. Even when I worked for 15 years for Bill Gates at Microsoft, I had a huge admiration for Steve and what Apple had produced. But in the end, when I think about leadership, passion and attention to detail, I think back to the call I received from Steve Jobs on a Sunday morning in January. It was a lesson I’ll never forget. CEOs should care about details. Even shades of yellow. On a Sunday.To one of the greatest leaders I’ve ever met, my prayers and hopes are with you Steve.-Vic——-
Truly a legend. Thanks for sharing this.
Just read a great blog post about why Steve Jobs was such a brilliant marketer – wish all clients thought like him….http://www.terryoreilly.ca/…
Words for every entrepreneur and marketer:”It’s not the customer’s job to know what they want.”
and the guts to give it to them.
Yeah…and you are often wrong. But a wonder when you are right.This motto is the one that inspires me and has for years as a marketer.
Artists don’t worry about the customer much at all. Marketers have to worry about the customer a lot, but sometimes we have to forget them entirely and be the artist.
great story! thanks Christian!
So good: “CEOs should care about details. Even shades of yellow. On a Sunday”
Thanks, Fred. Well said.Here is what I wrote in tribute:Some men do great things in the prime of their lives, then retire to enjoy the fruits of their labors, and perhaps to sit on some boards or give some talks. Steve Jobs’s last decade was the most productive of his life—hell, of almost any man’s life. He burned everything there was to burn within him and went out in a blaze of glory.When he stepped down as CEO of Apple, some said it was because he was close to death. Perhaps instead, his life had to end because he could no longer work.“Rest in peace” seems inappropriate for such a man, like an insult or a curse. If there were a Heaven, it would be for Jobs a continuation of his life on earth, thinking about the future and working to make it real.
That is great
Brilliant about heaven for Steve Jobs. Totally agree and even believe in it. Also love your take on going out in a blaze of glory. Just one more inspiration to take from the legend.
I think “rest in peace” fits for someone who either lived a very long life and now they’ve slipped into death, or, for someone who was truly tortured during their life.I don’t see either of those in Steve Jobs, so I agree with you.But I also see a wife who lost her husband and children who lost their father and cannot accept that if he couldn’t work he couldn’t live.I’d heard his musings on death from his Stanford MBA commencement address, where he says that when you accept you’re going to die everything becomes much clearer. You’re naked; the only thing that matters is what you want to do, the extraneous slips away. And I guess you figure, I’ll sleep when I’m dead.But also having been a caregiver to a similar cancer, his family has been with through incredibly invasive and exhausting procedures and every ounce of energy is on ‘beating it’ and it seems the extra drops of energy were on his work. He may have been lucid, he may not. So while they held his withering body I hope they each got at least a drop of Dad or Husband. Products will change, maybe won’t be as good as before. But losing Dad is your one and only and never can be replaced.56 is too young to go and teenage years are too young to lose your dad.
I lost my dad to pancreatic cancer a year ago August. The process is horrendous and life changing. But as all those who go through it will say, the unfairness is balanced over time with the gift you realize that you’ve been given – not only to have had that person in your life but as well, the recognition that life is indeed very precious and should never be taken for granted. I’m not sure i knew that the same way as I do now. They are young and it’s the toughest lesson, but in Jobs own words on death (that many have been quoting in the last 24 hrs) “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.”
Leigh I’m so sorry about your dad. Yes, totally life-changing — both for understanding the horrible things that can happen that we actually don’t have any control over. For me, I felt like I lost a physical limb. And you’re so right — it is a gift to know how precious life is. We just DON’T have that much time. It got me living in an “if I got hit by a bus this afternoon would I be able to live with this outcome?” I do wonder if death is harder on the person who died or those of us left behind. I tend to think for the left-behinds. Who knows.
Definitely harder for those left behind. Even still most of us would probably prefer to be in that category.
Wow, Leigh. Really good thoughts and words. And Steve’s too.
mark twain had a lot to say about fluffy cloud heaven and being issued a harp with the expectation that you would spend eternity playing it and singing
See, I believe there is a heaven…and it’s my hope that Steve Jobs, after meeting God, said “oh, there’s one more thing” and handed him an iPhone 5.
nice Aaron, thanks!
I think I can picture it! Maybe heaven is now an ever better place…I am a fairly recent ‘apple convert’ (5 years or so) but I certainly love the products and the company. His charisma and leadership went far beyond Apple though and it is recognized by people from all walks of life.
I think of heaven as a continuation too. Although, I’d like to be one of those who enters there with a head start by leaving here blazing.
great words, thanks Donna
Amen. My greatest lesson from Steve is “Don’t be afraid to be wrong” – http://giniji.com/hrishi/st…
That’s corporate culture and having a net below when you try that triple somersault.
“we’re the biggest startup on the planet”http://www.youtube.com/watc…
That’s great, thanks.
this, from seth’s blog: A eulogy of action http://bit.ly/rjCyRe
Maybe you could add to your post at the top an invitation to post the text/the link to people’s own final thoughts about Steve. Everyone I know is writing a blog/G+/FB post with thoughts, it would be great to see them together. Here is mine:“Who is Steve?” my daughter asked this morning. “The guy who came up with the idea for that device you are holding. Kids, you are watching way too many movies, shut it off and go eat some breakfast”You can admire Steve Jobs as a person (I did not know him personally), you can admire him as a successful businessman who made billions by not giving up (MBA students might be interested in this), but most of all Steve was a man who had an enormous impact on my day-to-day life.Seeing his keynote addresses a few yeas ago made me realize that the world could be a better place if I could help people present just a little bit more like Steve. In the process, I managed to cut myself free from corporate shackles and take charge of my own life.Today you can feel a strong personal loss for someone you have never met in person. And it is actually Steve who made that possible. Thank you for that.
A creative director told his story of working with Jobs on the advertising side. The team would come in with a pile of ideas and put them on a huge table. Steve would walk in and know instantly and decisively – he’d walk down the table – no, no, no, no, yes, no, no, no, no.It was instinctive. It came from within. Jobs said that the Apple brand stood for, “people with passion can change the world”Feeling like that is a little less likely with him not in that world anymore this morning.
He has said that you have to know what NOT to do in order to do the right thing by process of elimination. (paraphrase)
“We’ve gained a legend.” Perfect.My favorite tribute came from Michael Sippey of TypePad. Perfectly sums up what inspires me most about Steve Jobs.http://www.sippey.com/2011/…Saw via @sacca, on Twitter iPad app, of course.
“He gave us what we wanted before we knew we wanted it.” I keep coming back to that quote and don’t know how anyone will get that kind of mojo to be able to take those leaps of faith anytime soon.
Breakfast conversation with 5yo daughter this morn.Me: Steve Jobs diedHer: Who’s that?Me: He started a company called apple. They make the iPhone and the iPad.couple minutes…..Her: He made great things. We still get to use them! I want to be like that.
That’s sweet. One thing that’s really interesting about seeing it through the eyes of a child is how elemental the physical product is.
outstanding and inspiring.
I agree. It took me aback. I just replied “me too”….and then thought of how much more I could be doing. *tear*
she’s off to a great start
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
he made the first computer I wanted to use. It is losing the Edison of computing.Personally I found it shocking. Though I am even more shocked by how slowly he died (pancreatic cancers tend to be virulent) – he managed to do so much before then. I wish I could pack that much stuff into my life…I’m more shocked than anything…Truthfully I heard of another death last night, my favorite professor in college, who taught me how to read critically and do what I love, and that one is rocking me a bit more.
Sorry about your prof, Shana. I know that’s hard.
Thanks Donna He was the kind of teacher that pushed people to be Steve Jobs like (follow your dreams, become more creative with your thinking)http://uchiblogo.uchicago.e…
Sinaiko seems like a great guy and teacher.
I’d like to read more details about how he “thought”. Is there a book that details the business mind of Steve Jobs? So many business lessons from him!
I read The Steve Jobs Way: iLeadership for a New Generation this year which wont disappoint. His bio comes out on the 21 of Nov http://www.amazon.com/Steve… No book at all like what you asked for. Look to iWoz and Steve Wozniak who knew him pretty well. There are some great documentaries on Apple. IMO he thought like an absolute perfectionist in every way. He thought like an artist, business artists, a product artist which I am sure is quite unexplained. Like finding out how the sports mind of Michael Jordan works. I doubt a book would be that concise, might help, really sure his bio will give some great insight. A Team of Rivals of sort, who knows.
Thanks. That’s what I thought, ie. that the best about him is from anecdotal and sporadic reports from others who worked close to him. It’s all over. Someone out to put something together. Here’s one concentrated example- Remembering Steve Jobs http://bit.ly/pPFRbe
thanks loved the ‘100 Reactions to the Death of Steve Jobs’
Yes. Also 21 Life Lessons from Steve Jobs has a great mindmap.
great just looked it over now tx
I forget the book but there was a long part by the ad agency on why they got fired but it was a great insight to Jobs and how he wanted both vendors, partners and employees to work.
WORLD HAVE STEVE SHAPED HOLE IN IT TODAY.HIM SAW WHAT WORLD SHOULD BE, NOT WHAT IS. AND MADE IT SO.BE SAD TODAY.TOMORROW BE LIKE STEVE.
Awesome as usual FG. On point and up to the moment. Thanks.
YES, There is a bit of Steve Jobs in all of us.
i like that you chose one of the cartoon laws of physics: when a character walks through something solid, the hole they leave is shaped exactly like themwell saidux rule 1: if something is broken, fix it. this will need a lot of fixing.
FIX THINGS.RULE FOR LIFE, NOT JUST UX.
6/7/11 almost exactly 4 months ago Steve Jobs was presenting his design for the new Apple headquarters to the Cupertino City Council. We should all be lucky enough to be passionate enough to live a full life. If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.http://www.youtube.com/watc…
Thanks for sharing the video Dan. It is amazing to see how he handled some of those questions which to be frank were quite silly.
the world just got alot less interesting. a great american.
well said. it was an overwhelming feeling to hear he had passed. he was such a force of inspiration for others to feed off… an iconic force that made me work harder knowing his boldness, independence, trust in himself, squashing of petty resistance, passion, and his insistence on making innovation happen. This is truly sad.think different
I realized last night that I remember every little detail of the day I bought my first iPhone. Here is the childlike story of that day…http://johnbpetersen.tumblr…Considering there are times when I can barely remember something that happened last week, I am honestly impressed with how special that day was for me.
In reviewing the many tributes, I noticed a piece of the Stanford commencement speech that talked of realizing you would die as a shared absolute of life…….and that his response to this insight was ‘to do what you love’.He then went on to discusss finding what you love to do……saying ‘as in all affairs of the heart’ you will only know you have found it when you find it.Having a foot in each of those camps – the heart & reality – seems to be the source of his genius.
So well said.
Wonderful thoughts Fred.I had the chance to watch the Cognitive Media video of Steven Johnson’s Where Great Ideas come from on YouTube this morning http://www.youtube.com/watc… and it really made me think about Steve Jobs.One of the points Johnson makes is that it often takes 10, 20, or 30 years for a hunch to fully incubate and become a great idea. I thought, wow, this is Steve Jobs. Jobs had amazing curiosity that began as a teenager and evolved in his 20s. With his cofounders, they built great technological tools that helped people and made them happy. He had vision, oh what an understatement. But he certainly wasn’t successful. He was kicked out of his own company, went away (like a monk almost) and learned. And oh did he learn. 12 years after getting kicked out of Apple, he came back. And one of his first pivotal messages to his company and to the world was “Think Different.” Steve had a vision, where technology could be an extension of what people do. That technology, at its core, could make people happy. If the iPod changed the way we look at Apple, the iPhone changed the way we look at the world, and the iPad is changing how we engage with it. As many others certainly saw last night, Jobs gave a commencement speech at Standford in 2005 where he said ‘Be bold, don’t be held back living someone’s life.’ Cheers to that. Lets all celebrate the amazing contributions of someone who held so closely to their own point of view.
>>we’ve gained a legendDiscussing with my wife the influence that Steve had on the world, I struggled to come up with a parallel.Thomas Edison. Steve Jobs has had as much influence on the world as the guy who commercialized electricity and the light bulb. And the world is a whole lot bigger and harder to move, today.
iSadRIP Steve…we never met, but you’ve inspired me since the Lisa….:-(Jim
iSad, that’s great.
I’m thankful for Steve Jobs providing me with one of the best memories of my life, when I received an Apple IIC computer for Christmas in 1986. There was a note on the wrapping paper stating, “This is from your parents, not Santa Claus”.I thought I was keeping it over the years in the hopes it would become a collectors’s item, but, in truth, I’ve kept it for sentimental value.
I had that computer too. Freaking rocked.I grew up in an IBM town and in those years all the families bought Apple II’s!Pre PC days.
I was astounded by how small/portable it was. It had a carrying handle!
Well said Fred. Sad day. RIP Steve.
Today India I know, is not celebrating Dussehra but moaning the loss of a visionary. I will re-quote FG BE SAD TODAY.TOMORROW BE LIKE STEVE.
So much is being written about Steve Jobs and it’s all very inspiring. I couldn’t get any work done yesterday for 4-5 hours…was just reading all about him: http://bit.ly/pPFRbe
I walked past the 5th Ave Apple Store, as I do everyday on my way to work, and couldn’t help but look at it differently this morning. For a while now it’s been undergoing a renovation, boarded up and riddled with construction workers buzzing around. As I approached it in the distance I felt it was symbolic of just what the company is going through: a state of renovation. This morning however on the steps of the Apple Store you’ll find a memorial of flowers and messages from passers by and camera crews reporting on the loss of Steve Jobs. That small but personal memorial made me realize that its truly not a day to mourn his loss but to celebrate the life of a visionary who made such a difference in the world. If one man can affect so much during his lifetime he will truly live on forever in everyone’s heart.
I’m of that generation of kids who were “children of the mac”. My Dad – a college professor – saw the release of the Mac and went out and bought one – circa 1984. We had a fat Mac (512K of RAM) and an external floppy drive. No internal hard drive of course. Those were still a couple of years away for most normal people. I was about 10 then. It’s been a great 27 years for Steve – the story of his ups and downs during that time are well known. What’s most amazing to me about Steve Jobs is that even when things got difficult and stressful, he stuck to his vision, style and feelings about what is what. It was NOT smooth sailing for him between the time he was booted out of Apple and the time he returned more than a decade later when Apple bought Next. Those were the Microsoft years. Apple – and by extension Steve – had been “proven” wrong. PCs reigned supreme. I moved from a Mac to a PC during the summer of 1996. The Mac was too unstable and Windows 95 was good enough. Despite the mother of all “losses” – the business school case study on strategy to define strategy case studies – Steve continued to do it his own way. Apple was not an overnight success when he returned. It took several years for him to get the shipped turned around and several more before the popular press acknowledged that Steve was the genius that we know him for today. The rest of the history is well known. Not only was he a brilliant visionary. Perhaps more importantly, he was incredibly persistent and patient and willing to believe in himself and that vision no matter what. Even when no one else did. Many people have a great idea or two or three. Very very few stick with those principles and beliefs no matter what.
I truly believe that someday we’ll see statues of Steve Jobs all over the United States. I think history will show us that he literally saved the U.S. and its economy by recognizing the commercial potential of the mouse-driven graphical user interface (GUI) back in the early eighties. The invention of GUI led to the personal computer and put the U.S. in a position of power and dominance in the software and computing industry. At a time when it seemed America was rapidly losing in every major industry (automobiles, electronics, manufacturing, etc.), winning in software and computing may be the reason the U.S. continues to be a global economic powerhouse. Today, by most measures, the list of the top software and technology companies is still dominated by American companies.Jobs was truly a legend. RIP.
I suspect you’re right about statues: I can’t remember quite so many heads of state issuing condolences for any other businessman – he was a giant.
Steve was born on Feb 24th. I was born on Feb 25th.There’s a dreamer in every Pisces,- one of their strongest traits once coupled with action.Any other Pisces dreamers?
The biggest difference from Steve Jobs is yet to come through inspiration and model He created within other people all over the world. The Enterprenuer of the 21th century is His biggest invention that will save the world.I cannot be more thankful to Him. I consider Him a Saint.”Stay hungry, stay foolish” dear Steve Jobs. I hope You just continue your Journey…
The first Apple product I ever came into contact with was the Mac 128k and I bought the Tandy 2000; and since that time I have never owned an Apple product.But, with that said, I have to admit that as a business leader he is the one who I admire the most and I was quite shaken when I heard that he had passed away last night.I admire him because how he was able to share his passion with the world; he believed and he created a company and a loyal consumer base that believed.I have met Gary Dahl, who came up with Pet Rocks, and he was a brilliant advertising and marketing executive.Steve Jobs was so much more than a genius, an innovator, and or a visionary; he was a revolutionary.
A friend of mine was recruited by Steve Jobs and worked directly for him at NeXT several years ago. I recall my friend telling me that Steve had this amazing ability to look at you close with his piercing eyes and you would get transformed by him and totally believe that you can make a difference with him. I’m paraphrasing it, but I still vividly recall the tone of passion my friend was portraying while speaking about Steve Jobs. That has stayed with me, and I keep replaying it.It’s an understatement to say that Steve Jobs touched many lives. I think he transformed most of them.
More than the technological innovation that he brought to this world, Steve showed what it meant to be a leader. He taught us that to be a leader means to accept the failures of the company as an individual but to celebrate the successes as group or as a company. He took personal responsibility for the mistakes that Apple made but when it came time to celebrate any success, he spoke about it in the plural form of we. He showed us that failure is not something to fear, but rather to despise. It was how he responded to failure that made him special. The Macintosh, iPod, iPhone and iPad were all incredible inventions but perhaps the greatest thing he left us was his lessons. They can affect our lives in a far greater way.
In some ways, I wish we could have seen Steve live long enough to catch the philanthropic bug that Gates (and others) eventually caught. He could have done some astoundingly great things. And I think we were pretty close to that moment – iPhones in Sub-Saharan Africa would have done much to warm the cockles of his heart. But maybe I’m being greedy when the man already did so much to change the world anyway. Thanks for the post, Fred.
his philanthropy is what he made and the impact that will have on the world
Actually, Jobs will be known as a marketer, which everyone overlooks. Steve Jobs has said this over and over, it’s about presentation and packaging.Remember, he didn’t invent much at all, but invented marketing in a new way.
That is an excellent, novel way to look at it.
Jobs himself said something similar after he traveled to India as a young man in search of enlightenment. From The Economic Times of India:NEW DELHI: Steve Jobs came to India as a teenager in search of enlightenment. He returned disappointed, following a brush with lice, scabies, dysentery and a near mob thrashing after he protested at being sold watered-down buffalo milk. But the trip did mark a turning point in his life. In his own words, it helped him realize that ” Thomas Edison did a lot more to improve the world than Karl Marx and Neem Karoli Baba (the guru he was seeking, who died before they could meet) put together”
that is greatthanks for sharing that with me
Also, Buddhists are known to believe in unannounced-Philanthropy! And I think, Jobs might have been doing it all anonymously!
i prefer anonymous philanthropythe causes i donate too mostly don’t
I’d like to thank Steve for the product he never openly talked about, the one he manufactured everyday, what he urged to communicate to us all not just at the Standford commencement speech.iAm I think we’re all a little bit more aware of that because of Steve and what we can do with Apple’s products.Thank you Steve.
when it’s time to bribe my kid into getting a haircut, the treat i hold out is that we can go to “the ipad store” and she can play with one for a while, while she is saving her allowance and doing her piano homework to “earn” one of her own.apple under jobs made technology into something kids *want*
Thank you Fred, very well said.My 4th and 5th grade class had one of North America’s first computer labs in a public elementary school – full of new Apple IIGS and a Mac – and I had unfettered access to them. This was~ ’86. It was a life changing fluke in time and space and I will forever be grateful. Lot’s of quotes going around today to help communicate what Steve Jobs’ life has given to society and us individually. We all have read this famous quote, but I think George Bernard Shaw summed up what I think Steve Jobs best represented: “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”George Bernard Shaw
we’ve got some great stuff to show you todayhttp://www.youtube.com/watc…<3
There is much grief let loose today because we grieve for what we have lost, what the world has lost, what business, technology has lost. A purely selfish and personal reaction. I join in in that grief.But really this is a day to wipe off those selfish tears and to celebrate a life well lived on so many planes —VisionaryInspirationTechnologistMarketerAd guyCEO — best ever and he got fired!Example of the nobility of businessBest turnaround guy — everThe ultimate first, second, third and fourth “acts”The best industrial design — everOn so many levels, Jobs was not just good — he was #1. NUMBER ONE!And absent almost any personal self aggrandizement. He did it because it needed doing and he could.In a black mock turtle neck, black jeans and a graying beard — this guy changed the world for all time and made it look like a walk in the fucking park.I grieve not, I celebrate! I celebrate with the fury reserved for a life so well lived that we cannot even begin to catalog the planes of excellence upon which this guy operated.Godspeed!
Well said (as usual!).He defined marketing for me and still drives me to this day to create platforms for the behaviors and imagination of the mass market (including myself).Yes…I celebrate. Also…I’m saddened. And inspired anew.
I agree, JLM. My reaction after reading the sad news.* Disbelief. Keep refreshing browser hoping it would say “the story was a hoax”.* Sadness.* Some tears.* Celebrate – with treats and a drink. Steve may be gone, but what he gave us (great ideas) will live on forever.
Here’s some more celebrating Steve and what he created -http://i.imgur.com/0Vv1j.jpg
Well put, JLM. We live in a time where vision and ideals are so easily compromised, and where ambition is too frequently about attributes, like getting rich, as opposed to outcomes, like changing the world.Thus, it is both sad and inspiring to think about one man who carried, lived and breathed the total picture without compromise.There is a proverb that the candle that burns twice as bright, burns half as long. While tremendously sad, this provides some context for appreciating the beautiful life and legacy of Steve Jobs, for there was no candle that burned brighter than his.
It’s hard to think of another person who has delivered more wealth, productivity and prosperity to his fellow humans.Can you imagine what our economy would be like without him?Here’s to one of the greatest dreamers who ever lived…
This morning when my wife explained what we were talking about to my 12 year old daughter, she quickly shrieked and said: “Who’s gonna invent all the cool stuff now?”A sorrowful cry, a tribute to Steve Jobs, a direct challenge to entrepreneurs and an inspirational call – all in one.Thank you Rachel.
Beautifully put, Fred. Om Malik’s tribute is similarly heart-felt and moving. I was relatively late to hear the news – as a number of my friends have said upon hearing, it is a ‘John Lennon moment.’What a glorious legacy he has left us all, however – probably done more to enrich and encourage creativity than any other single individual. I was relatively late to the Apple market, but I vividly recall my first encounter with a Lisa in the late 80s – hitherto I had only used 3270/VT220 terminals, and some very early PCs. What a revelation, it blew my mind, and for too long I thought owning an Apple was reserved for the elite, the Outliers, as we’d now say.That the Apple culture has so permeated modern life it is a delight – eg, to walk into a cafe and see a 70+ year old on their iPad – that David Hockney ‘paints’ with his iPhone, etc. Jobs made creativity, design and quality ‘cool’ – not elitist.Your Time Is Limited. Indeed. Carpe Diem, folks…RIP.
A genius. RIP.
Steve 1.0: Desktop Publishing “DP”. Before Steve typesetting and graphics was “phototypesetting” The fonts were super expensive pieces of plasticthat light went through to create images on photo paper.To draw a box you needed to do complicated programming “mark point return point” with coordinates.When the Mac came out Linotype co. followed with a laser typesetter (about $80,000 in 1980’s dollars). The laserwriter was 4 figures ($4000 sticks in my mind).At my first company (opened right out of college) I purchased a linotype but surprisingly found that many customers accepted the quality of the Laserwriter (300dpi) as good enough and didn’t want to pay for the expensive Linotype output. That was a total lesson learned since in that industry it didn’t seem possible that people would accept such low resolution.Forgetting even that the quality of laser got better, people in this business never thought that anyone would accept such low resolution output. (Mostly old timers andcraftsmen in the industry.)But they did.Especially when they could control the entire process in their office and use theircreativity.We had a big customer (a career service) that was giving us alarge amount of typesetting that was one reason for purchasingthe linotype imagesetter. (The other reason was thatit was just obvious this was a better way to design.)After the machine was deliveredthe customer informed us they were going to do outputon their own Laserwriter. Another lesson learned.If you want to see the effect of DP on the advertising worldsimply open up any magazine and look at the advertisementsthat were essentially cut and paste from thatera and before.All the creativity you see today is directly related to desktop publishing which made doing these things relatively affordable (and then came video of course and you know what happened with that.)All this was before Steve made his return in the 90’s.It was a Steve 1.0 creation. The Mac never took hold in “business” butit certainly took hold in the printing and graphics andcreative industries back then. (We used multi user Unix systems ourselvessince you couldn’t do anything on the Mac back then.)Attached is an actual mailer used back in the 80’s toutingdesktop publishing.
Did you notice that it cost 15 cents to mail your mailer first class in the 80’s?
Yes and what’s interesting is that if you run the numbers through inflation converter the price increased roughly the same as inflation (it was a postcard btw).By contrast we provided healthcare for employees. The “gold card” blue cross plan was about $65 per employee back then. You can’t even buy that plan now (it was go anywhere anytime no pre approvals no deductibles and annual physicals lasted over an hour of MD time.). All you can eat coverage.The plans today (with all the shortcomings) are about $500 to $600 for coverage. By the inflation converter that should cost (just ran the numbers) $118
In 1990 I made a decision to self fund our healthcare as we were growing dramatically and BC/BS was an absolute customer service disaster that was causing us to lose employees. We started with the same rates we were paying to BC/BS (the employees paid $5.63 a week and we paid $150 a month for single coverage). By 2001 are rates were exactly the same and we had over 3 million dollars in the fund in excess. We had added employees in three different states and as federal law applies to self funded plans we could tailor our plan to meet the needs of our employees not the various state laws.We had also added coverage for dental, short term and long term disability and we had free annual physicals to everyone that had insurance that also included a full day off with pay.The providers loved us because we streamlined claims processing and had quick turnaround of payments.I used to joke that during some years our family coverage actually was an income stream and a profit center for our company.Then we downsized in 2001 and switched to health insurance again, and our 205.63 single coverage went to 575.00 a month overnight; it had nothing to do with experience or risk.
The inspiration that Steve gives us every day is a lasting legacy that will hopefully make the world better even without him here. But it’s up to us.
It’s weird, I feel like I lost a close friend. And I’m writing this on an iPad…
I met Steve Jobs when I was an intern at Apple. He hosted lunch with his interns that year. As he set foot into the room, everyone turned silent, almost as if we were holding their breath in excitement. One of the greatest geniuses of all time walked in, and we didn’t want to miss a beat. As soon as he came in, he requested (read: demanded) we (wide-eyed interns at the time) throw out our notepads and pens – “If you need to take notes during my informal chat, you’re not good enough to work here.” So, quickly putting our notebooks aside, we listened. For an hour, he talked about technology, focus, and doing what you believe is right, when it doesn’t always going to feel right. I remember shedding a tear at that lunch, because I had never been inspired that way before. Something sparked inside me and a lot of others that day – and life was never really the same again. Something he said to share with you (somewhat paraphrased): “If you don’t care about [crossing and dotting] every t and i, someone else surely will. Details, however small it may seem to you, never go unnoticed by your audience.” The world will miss you, Mr. Jobs.
great story. funny i wrote a blog post this morning and that was my biggest take away too. Brand is in the details http://leighhimel.blogspot….
i could not resist posting this. Oh the irony.
Hahaha, what sweet irony! People are nuts.
He was the master of delivering personality into products
Charging around London today, its astonishing to see the amount of macbooks, ipads, ipods and iphones in hands, at work, at play, in dreams, online banking, connecting with friends, calling home, flinging morose birds, and zoning out from the tedium. He changed humanity, and its inspiring to see humanity honor him.
I first saw the news late afternoon on my Macbook Pro.Then I followed the story early evening while out with a couple of friends on my iPhone.Then read some commentary late last night on my iPad.And now I’m back on my Macbook Pro writing this…RIP
I don’t think I will ever shed a tear for a CEO I miss you steve
Well said, Fred…
I think that Om Malik said it really well on Bloomberg TV last night. He said that people are reacting with such emotion because Steve Jobs took “silicon, steel and software” and turned it into devices that created conversations, chats, smiles, and emotions. What Jobs did so well is put a real human touch into the hands of every human. He proved that technology is not about robots or numbers or bytes. it’s about being able to connect and to reach people, reach ideas, and realize dreams. Malik also said that Jobs was kind of a “secret mentor,” that every CEO he knows likely would go through steps in their mind when looking at product choices to see if it met the standard for excellence that Jobs permeated through our culture.
Om is the best of the tech bloggers because he really thinks and he writes so well
I never worked at Apple, but know many that did and who had many direct interactions with Steve. He was a true visionary and game changer. When I first moved to Silicon Valley in 1988 I lived in Cupertino right next to the original Apple buildings and would see Steve at the Good Earth restaurant even though he had started NeXT by then. I got a chuckle out of The Onion’s obit http://www.theonion.com/art… I think Steve would have laughed as well.
Short timeline of Jobs’ track record…unbelievable.1976 – Co-founds Apple, launches first personal computer1980 – Apple goes public1984 – Launches Macintosh1985 – Ousted as CEO after boardroom coup1985 – Founds Pixar1997 – Renamed Apple CEO1998 – Launches iMac1999 – Launches iBook2001 – Opens first Apple Store2001 – Launches iPod2003 – Launches iTunes2006 – Pixar sold to Disney for $7.4 billion2007 – Launches iPhone2010 – Launches iPad2011 – Apple surpasses Exxon Mobil as most valuable company in the world
he founded NeXT, and acquired Pixar (from Lucas).
This Steve Jobs & Bill Gates meme graphic is making the rounds right now.Enjoy – http://i.imgur.com/0Vv1j.jpg
Well said Fred. The sense of loss is surprisingly strong, even if it is no surprise as to why.
Well said, [email protected]:twitter Re-tweeted this image yesterday, which is an example of how even some of those who hated Jobs use his products.
In the most humanist of senses we are all born as equals, and we all die as equals. What we choose to do in between decides if we remain as equals. Jobs helped to give us access both to information and to each other. I think that helps to keep us all as equals. To Steve, enjoy what comes next.
Fred, you’ve got soul.Great post and a safe place to hang out today as we process. Thanks.
there’s very little that i want more than soul
Steve Jobs din’t just changed my life. He simply changed life as we know it on the planet.
Inspired by an AVC comment exchange with @ShanaC:disqus (no wonder she’s labeled an “instigator”) I tweeted this:”Not a lot of love lost between me and the status quo.”Little did I know that a few short hours later I (along with the world) would be mourning the death of someone who embodied these words.In memory of a trailblazer.
He was the best to do it. It’s hard to say or write anything that feels appropriate. I loved Steve Jobs period.
Many people talk about remembering where they were and what they were doing when JFK was assassinated. So many comments here and across the social web suggest that people will remember not only where they were and what they were doing, but how they learned about the news and how the medium is directly tied to Jobs himself (Apple homepage in a MBP, text or twitter on iPhone etc).As entrepreneurs, what can’t we learn from the Steve Jobs and Apple story? There are so many lessons. The most important for me are:1) How a passionate group of hobbyists can help bootstrap a new industry as it did with the early PC industry supporting the Apple I and Apple II until mainstream uses such as VisiCalc could broaden the market. We’re seeing that today with personal fabrication and 3D printing (MakerBot etc) and Physical Computing (Arduino etc).2) That the Graphical Desktop was essential to the proliferation of “personal computers” but that we finally rested on the “best of both worlds” where all major consumer operating systems have both graphical and command line interfaces. As we work to democratize programming and engineering, graphical and textual representations of code will be necessary.More in my “Hobby to Hollywood” blog post: http://blog.modk.it/2011/10… And just like @bcmanning:disqus, I skipped over the NeXT days mainly because there are so many lessons there, like sometimes you have to step away to do the hard work. And Jobs coming back to run Apple – that is almost like getting a divorce and then getting remarried to the same spouse. But what can you say if the love is still there!
I did not realize how sad I would be when I heard the news- I too had no words once I found out. We lost a visionary, a leader, and an icon. Steve Jobs stood for so much more than entrepreneurship and innovation, and I agree- I do not think he is going anywhere. His legacy will live on, and he has inspired us on a personal level. Anyone who reads my blog knows that I like getting advice for young people from established business people, but I loved when he said to “…have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”Thanks, Steve. Rest in Peace. <3
I remember seeing Steve Jobs in Boston introducing the Mac Lisa. 1983 or 84. Best product guy I’ve seen EVER!. He was way more in so many ways. I am truly sad. He is just a few years older than I am. A lesson here — don’t waste time. Be your best. Every day. I am not religious, but god speed Steve. Condolences to the Jobs family and close friends. Emotional. Reminds me of my dad – in a way. Both driven to achieve, both gone way too soon.
What’s astounding to me is that Steve’s vision far surpassed the products Apple produced – it impacted huge industries and forced people to “think different”. He was fearless in his beliefs and looked long term not just a month or quarter or fiscal year ahead. As I read “The Perfect Thing” by Stephen Levy I realized, without a doubt in my mind, that as Steve was coming up with the iPod he was really thinking about the iTunes, the iPhone, the iPad and if I believe what analysts are predicting – iTV. The iPod was just the beginning. Like George Lucas doing Star Wars IV and going crazy because FX technology was not where it he needed it to be – George and Steve saw that other people could not even grasp. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to blog about Steve, because I knew everyone else would be. But when I thought about his leadership, the perception that he was too demanding or difficult, his unfaltering belief in his vision, it became one of the easiest things I ever managed to write. I finally understood the real meaning behind “Think Different” and that being “difficult” or believing in the “impossible” is very often, exactly what we need.
Job well done Jobs…we are delighted to call back our messiah of technology…Welcome Jobs.byHeaven.
This what I posted yesterday on the Apple site ‘rememberingsteve’:In our family, we have for over 25 years heralded Steve as our common Great Hero, whom we all admired, learned from, sought inspiration with and cheered, as yet again he stunned the world with new, beautiful and tremendously useful computing devices. Let Wall Street learn a last lesson from Steve, that an adopted, college drop out from less privileged background can develop into the single most influential leader of technology, music, design and good lifestyle. His company history also shows us all that it is vision, guts and leadership with a real good eye for people that makes business tick, not suits, limos, network and an MBA from Harvard. Let his memory now show the world that here was a wonderful man, whose fame was based on making lots of people happy, instead of killing or stealing in the world.
that is great. i believe it is true that many of or leaders and heros have come and will come from less than priviledged upbringings. look at abraham lincoln and malcolm x
Very well said, Fred.
Here is a simple list of things what Steve Jobs has done:* Steve inspired lot of people to become Entrepreneurs.* He gave a new meaning to design and showed that it is an important part of our life.* He made the letter ‘i’ iNdispensable in our life and made it the best of all alphabets.* He brought us the “Graphics” in computers.* He brought us the cute, little Mouse.* He showed “Smart Phones” can be Sexy.* He made listening to Songs easy.* He changed the entire Music industry through iTunes and other iProducts.* He changed the Animation industry through Pixar.* He changed the computing industry and brought Computers to every household.* He changed the Mobile industry through iPhone.* He created a new industry- Tablets through iPads.* He showed how best your Supply Chain can be through iStores.* He made Sales Persons sexy through his Pitches.* He made Apple bigger than Microsoft and intel combined.* He showed the world how you need to give sales pitches.* He created a new and easier way for developers to earn through his “App Stores”.* He made Animation movies which are not just for kids and people are no more embarrassed to watch them.* He made people to be proud of their creations.The above are just some of what Steve has given to the world. With 313 patents, he is the CEO with most number of patents. This shows how much of hands on he is with the products, rather than just signing off the checks! And with the below gem, I would say Rest in Peace, Steve! ‘i’ am made by you!”God took away Steve ‘coz he wanted his own iPhone! RIP Steve.”
He was my GURU!!
My letter to the NY Times editor about a Steve Jobs article:Dear Editor,I find David Streitfield’s “Defending Life’s Work With Words of a Tyrant” to be a mean-spirited personal attack that’s downright cowardly in its timing.I doubt Mr. Streitfield has ever had a private conversation with the man, nor would he have the courage or disrespect to convey his words to the grieving loved ones of Mr. Jobs in person, yet he sees fit to broadcast them to the entire world in perpetuity in the wake of this great-but-flawed human being’s death.The New York Times ought to be ashamed to sink so low as to have deemed this worthy of its pages.Sincerely,-Mark Gavagan, decades-long NYT subscriberMendham, NJLink to the article:http://www.nytimes.com/2011…
The world and his family are used to reading all sorts of things some faltering, some not – comes with being a renowned and admired figure. Isn’t it important to get a glimpse of the man not just the myth?
Hello Stevengermain1.You make a good point. My complaint is not against revealinging the human elements of the public figure (including but not limited to negative ones) – that’s good journalism. Part of what I oppose is the article’s cowardly timing and what amounts to unbalanced bashing of his personal character. There’s not a single positive personal formerly-nonpublic trait of Mr. Jobs mentioned.Thanks for reading.-Mark
This part of Steve is well known. It alsoappeared in a movie made some time ago whichwill re-run on TNT:http://www.washingtonpost.c…And the story about Steve will now enter the part of the news cycle in whichthe story becomes *how the story was covered*.It happens with every big story. This was actually already started by Tim O’reilly in this quote from the article you referenced:“I don’t want to take anything away from the guy, he was brilliant and uncompromising and wonderful, but there’s a level of adulation that goes beyond what is merited,”Which raises an interesting question and maybea topic for a post on AVC. Maybe even MBA mondays.How do you deal with primadonnas at your company?In the case of the steve 1.0 he was fired.But many companies of all sizes have the same problem.You have an outstanding employee but they runrough shod over the others. Making women and men cry.While from the outside it’s easy to say “I wouldn’t tolerate that” the fact is if you’ve been in that situation you know exactlywhy that can’t really be done. People respond to many different management styles. One of those styles resembles getting “approval from Daddy”.I don’t particularly have a problem with that. Nobody was forced to work for or deal with Steve Jobs. I can’t imagine that most people given the opportunity wouldn’thave gladly put up with his behavior for a chanceto work with him.
You raise some interesting points. I do remember a discussion along these lines once at AVC.It’s a fact of life that some geniuses (and many of them run companies) are very difficult to work with. Plus there is the “Alpha Male (and Female) syndrome” at work in many who rise to these top roles.A few of my client companies over the years have been run by CEOs with a crazy streak. And it was generally common knowledge. I made certain that anyone considering going to work there knew what they were in for so that they could make the right decision. One of the dangers is entering into a co-dependent relationship and buying into the craziness. I’ve known some execs who could keep a clear head and benefit from the situation, and actually contribute to making it better. These are few and far between, in my experience.It’s when crazy becomes cruel — unintentional or not — that I draw the line. I wish more people drew this line rather than perpetuating the cruelty.This is not meant to be a reflection on SJ. I don’t know enough to comment on that.
Having spent 20+ years with a brilliant, turned crazy, to settle at cruel business partner, where I found myself for the better of 5 years (at the beginning of the crazy period) running interference (or as you said, “actually contribute to making it better” to protect and preserve the value we had created, the reality is CEO’s with a crazy streak end up self destructing and destroying companies…With hindsight I wish I had walked away with nothing back in 1996 rather than the reality I find myself in today; sadly there was a third partner who died in 2008 and he poured everything back into every scheme the crazy one came up with and now I have his widow to contend with, her lawyer, and the fact that while I left my earnings in the one company that still has value, giving me a settlement of pennies on the dollar, she on the other hand is due much more but will end up with a lot less.Life is too short and once you witness crazy then cruelty is right around the corner.
It has always amazed me that so many of these stories exist. Sorry that you experienced it firsthand and with such a horrible result. I think these types of stories need to be shared because sometimes people get into these situations and it’s like the frog in the kettle — they don’t realize how bad it is or how bad it is becoming — often before it’s too late.
As I always say, “It is what it is.” Oh, I actually quit in 1996 and met with an attorney to get my money out, but then I allowed all my loyal employees into talking me into returning (heck, the whole payroll department quit and there would have been no paychecks for over 900 employees).For most start ups, they partner up build their product and then cash out in 5 to 7 years; not much damage can incur. But the reality is people change, success changes people, and ego’s destroy especially in a partnership when one of the partners realizes that they are less and less necessary.Everyone should have an exit strategy.Now I will just get through it and if I don’t get funding now then I know that within a year I can fund my plans myself.
oy. i was talking about this yesterday. prima donnas kill culture. they can be critical early on in the life of a startup. they can do amazing things. you need them. but at some point, you need to show them the door.
he was many things. and tyrant is certainly one of them. doesn’t mean he wasn’t the greatest entrepreneur of the information age. he was.
I agree. The best thoughts I’ve read are here.http://www.launch.is/blog/b…
Thank you for that. This is the most inspiring post I’ve read so far regarding Steve’s passing and I do believe he will continue to live on in the minds of entrepenuers present and those yet to come.
I can’t help but wonder, with as much as he gave the world, was it at the cost of his family?Did his children get as much Dad as we got a visionary? Did his wife get as much husband as we got a genius?I wonder and hope his brilliance was being able to bring his greatness to both his family and the world.
OK, after letting it marinate for a couple of days, here’s my take: “The surprising thing about the Steve Jobs veneration”.
many work work for money but Job loved Apple and what the company stood for
Just saw Woz on CNN saying ‘no large company would have hired Steve….’.An investor friend says that most entrepreneurs refuse the orthodoxy of large companies (consciously or unconsciously) and are actually unable to work for anyone else.Amazing that he got the third act in his working life to create the Apple of today.
nothing odd about somewhere to visit Charlie – it’s an awesome suggestion.
All that is important in humanity’s survival is that the person who can make the change can find the motivation and support they need to keep continue. I’d like to see said museum.
NIce post Charlie. Love the phrase “educating the blockers”. It’s such a big part of why companies hire me (and my company) – i’m now going to use that as part of our schpiel. 🙂
Thanks for sharing Charlie
James,I think the biggest problem our country faces today is that we have too many “to big to fail” companies that are unable to accommodate innovation, change, and entrepreneurship.The reality is that Steve Jobs could have been the CEO of any large company, and the reality was he was threatening to the status quo.
It’s like that Marx quote.”I wouldn’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member”
the best entrepreneurs are unhirable
AppleNeXTPixarApple a deuxiPod/iPhone/iPadCEO, stock performanceCultGreatest 7 “acts” in history and all before 56 years
JLM, I thought I’d reply to you on an older post so as to not attract everyone’s attention. I just thought I’d thank you for 2 pieces of inspiration. And since I’d blogged it, I thought I’d share it with you..http://www.alearningaday.co… 🙂