Steve Jobs – an obituary

Steve Jobs

I’m sure I’ve made it clear during the four years I’ve written here at brip blap that I’m no fan of Apple.  I don’t like the pretentious nature of their advertising, their closed source software, or the fawning attention paid to their products that command a tiny percentage of the market.  But when I learned of Steve Jobs’ passing yesterday, I realized that I did admire him.  He created something that people love.  He should be admired for that.  How many of us have created things that others love passionately?  I’d desperately love for brip blap to be admired as deeply as so many people admire Apple.

Steve Jobs was a brilliant man, but the thing I admire most about him was that he failed several times and kept coming back with greater success after each failure.  Even though it’s legend now, think about it:  he got fired from Apple, the company HE founded.  He went from there to Pixar, a company you might have heard of, and then back to Apple, resurrecting them from near-irrelevance.

By all accounts he was a good person, creative, and even though I’ve never loved his products, I’ll miss him.  Rest in peace, Steve.

Here are three great quotes from his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

And the best quote – which reflects the largest part of the aspirational goals of my life going forward:

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.

If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.

Photo Attribution Some rights reserved by Keng Susumpow