Wednesday, October 5, 2011

RIP Steve Jobs

We knew the inevitable when Steve Jobs made his announcement last August. (It was on my birthday, August 24 when the announcement was made) We had a suspicion that he was more ill than thought. It all came the day after his successor presented the new Apple items.

I'm not going to argue over how great a contribution Mr Jobs made not only to technology, but to humanity overall. That's been debated over and over on the message boards since August 24 of this year. I won't get into any debate over the definition of what makes a "hero." Within the context of Apple and the high tech industry, he's viewed as one. For those more military-minded, Jobs is viewed as a great innovator but not as a hero per se.

Any great contribution to society is heroic in my eyes period. But then we'd have to define "great," "contribution," and clarify who's included in "society."

So everything is debatable.

I'm typing away right now on my Macbook Pro which is 5 years old. (35 in dog years, 50 in tech years) I've owned 3 different iPods over that period of time. In spite of the announcement of the upcoming release of iPhone 4S, I've held off upgrading my phone this past 3 years on Verizon waiting for the iPhone release. There's no doubt in my mind about how much contribution Mr Jobs made in my life personally.

Today the world grieves over the loss of TWO great innovators and contributors.

As the internet and social media and mainstream media cover the loss of Mr Jobs, there's a second figure we must mourn over. For Steve Jobs transition reminds us of that second figure. In fact anytime a well-known public figure passes on, we recall the legacy of their contribution. (Side note: let us not forget the contributions made to the Civil Rights Movement by Rev Fred Shuttlesworth who passed on earlier today)

No, Rev Shuttlesworth is not that "2nd Figure" I'm referring to.

That Second Figure is the one who's regularly seen in the mirror.

For the past hour and a half, I've been bombarded with status updates and Twitter feeds about the great contributions made by Steve Jobs and I for one will not debate his contributions. His passing means he's no longer physically able to continue creating innovations and contributions. This past 24 hours before it was known about Mr Jobs death, there were unwarranted criticism towards Tim Cook for "not being Steve Jobs." Tim Cook has two main jobs right now: CEO of Apple, and Tim Cook. Let Steve Jobs rest in peace, let Tim Cook be Tim Cook, and let YOU be a GREAT YOU.

We shortchange ourselves in life when we believe we cannot make a significant contribution as a Steve Jobs or as a military hero fighting for freedom. In fact, we not only shortchange ourselves, but those around us. I know people will read this and say "yeah right. (Sarcastically) I'll be as great as Steve Jobs." I'm not saying that we all have the capacity to come up with simple, user-friendly, cutting edge technology devices, I'm saying that the greatness, the contributions within all of us can match and have as much impact as the great contributions made by him.

Mr Jobs passing reminds us of the greatness within each of us, and how we mourn not over the loss of our greatness but the fact that up until this point, our greatness has not outwardly lived. But the good news is that we need not mourn. While we take the time to mourn and reflect over Mr Jobs passing, we have the power to revive and resurrect our greatness. Whether it makes as big an impact as the Late Mr Jobs is totally up to us.

In other words, while we reflect on the impact Steve Jobs made, we overlook the great potential within us to make a dare I say, as great or even a greater impact. Mourning over that Second Figure is always a choice.

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything -- all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. 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. ... Stay hungry. Stay foolish."

-Steve Jobs, Stanford University Commencement 2005

No comments:

Post a Comment