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10/18/2011

Steve Jobs as Hero (a Personal Reflection)

My brother Greg texted me, “Steve Jobs died?” immediately after it was announced. A quick check of Twitter and Apple.com confirmed the news.

I mourned. I submitted my own several tributes to my Twitter and Facebook followers. I read everyone else’s. I kept tabs on which news outlets updated their home pages fastest. I read all the news stories. I stared at my iPhone for hours, refreshing Twitter, reading blogs. I stared into the eyes of the man whose portrait was on Apple’s homepage. I was in shock. Later that night I wrote a post on why my company Blue Ocean Ideas would not exist without Steve Jobs.

The next morning I cried. This was confusing until I realized exactly why I was sad: I was scared.

As soon as I thought about how fundamentally different (read, worse) my life would be if there never was Steve Jobs, I became afraid at how my life might not improve now that there is no more Steve Jobs. I know this is practically unreasonable, but it was the emotion I was feeling… and still feel.

With Steve Jobs in the world, I knew that something great would come. Essentially Steve had given me a promise of hope, and he always delivered on that promise. I trusted him. More than Apple the company, I trusted that Steve the man would make the world a better place. I trusted he would make my life better, too.

And, with every keynote sermon, Steve kept making it better, over and over again. He had the position and the talent to hold out this hope. Who else can do this? Who else will protect me in the ways that Steve did?

I hope we don’t forget the magic – everything we take for granted now: the touch screen, the predictive typing, the mouse, the iWhatever software, the fact that there are different fonts on a computer, music in my pocket. Do you remember your first time with those things? It was magical!

So, we wait for the next magician. We can be sure he won’t be anything like the last one. There will just be another name in the list of Gutenberg, Da Vinci, Galileo, Edison, Jobs.

While we wait, let’s remember the other magic we take for granted. The sunrise. Conception. Stars. Laughing. These are cliché things, but so is the iPod these days.

I miss Steve. I’m afraid of a future without Steve. But, perfect love casts out fear. Ironically, none of Steve’s technology can offer the very thing I need in light of his passing: love.

A collection of the best tributes I’ve seen is below. I encourage you to read them all.

  1.  “Steve Jobs, the Secular Prophet” by Andy Crouch – a stunning piece examining the “meta” look at Steve’s impact on culture
  2. “RIP Steve. Thanks for Everything” by Tracey Halvorsen – a personal reflection on Steve’s influence in her life and work
  3. “The Night the Lighthouse Went Out” by Simon Sinek – a short article about Steve the inspirer
  4. (and for those interested) “Blue Ocean Ideas Would Not Exist Without Steve Jobs” by me – a survey of Steve impact, including my favorite quotes

 

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