October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

This is a sad day. The world has lost one of its greatest minds and visionaries, in Steve Jobs, founder of Apple and obviously so much more than that. I have never met nor spoken to Steve, nor have the majority of people writing, tweeting and talking about him today. He was a hero to many, a beloved celebrity, and a leader.

We are allowed to talk about Steve.

We are allowed to feel sad.

I feel sad. In fact, this morning I decided to throw the todo list out the window, to sit down and think different. I’m dedicating this day to figuring things out, work and life and future and everything else that might be spinning around in the back of my head.

Thinking different is what Steve did, that’s what made him the great visionary that have touched so many lives and helped shape the world we live on today. This touches me profoundly as I’ve been flipping throw pages of obituaries on my iPad, reading tweets on my iPhone, and now I’m writing this on my MacBook Air, listening to music bought from iTunes. It amazes me, truly.

With these tools I make my life easier and more beautiful, thanks to Steve’s visions and the execution of the Apple he shaped, with its brilliant minds.

It is some comfort that Steve’s ideas and leadership will live on in Apple in the years to come. A man like that leaves a mark of course, but also because Apple’s future products and ideas are already in the company’s R&D department. The magic that is Apple products isn’t created overnight, they take years and years to build, which is what is so truly marvelous about this company. When they launched the iPhone, it had been in the works for years. Just now, PC manufacturers are catching up to the new MacBook Air line, and the iPad, well, no one’s there yet.

It is not all thanks to Steve, but I dare say that without him there would be no Apple today.

And yet, and yet. The visionary Steve is just one persona, the one we can pretend to know thanks to keynotes and famous one line emails.

The person Steve was with his family and friends is a whole different matter. There’s been some glimpses into his private life since Steve stepped down as CEO, but all in all we don’t know anything about that person.

Neither do we need to.

We shouldn’t forget that family Steve existed, however. Because in all our grief, which we’re entitled to, there are those who are tremendously more hurt by the loss of this man.

I’m still sad, I don’t seem to be able to shake that feeling today. That’s OK, I’m turning it into something positive by taking a page from Steve’s book of life and devoting myself to thinking differently today.

Thanks Steve. For everything.

Thoughts? Let @tdh know on Twitter, or find me elsewhere. There is also a newsletter.