Jensen: Remembering Steve Jobs — a man who changed the world

A photo displayed on Apple.com in memory of Steve Jobs.

A photo displayed on Apple.com in memory of Steve Jobs.

Derek Jensen

“Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being,” the company said in a statement.

Just Tuesday, Apple made the announcement of the new iPhone where Tim Cook, the new CEO of Apple, gave his first product address. While watching, I couldn’t help but notice that there was something in the air. It surely was at least because Steve Jobs was not present, but I believe the team at Apple knew his passing was coming very soon.

Then, on Wednesday, Oct. 5, Steve Jobs passed away while leaving a very well-known mark on the world.

He inspired people like the founders of Microsoft, Google and Facebook and really anyone and everyone else that enjoyed his work. Those who looked to him, myself included, felt that sense of pride he had for making the world a better place. Looking back on his life, he revolutionized the way we use computers, become entertained, explore our senses and passions, and communicate in this vast and ever-expanding digital age.

If someone doesn’t discover something, it will surely be discovered by another person, right? Correct, but the taste and vision of Jobs was certainly special and is how he was and will continue to be remembered. Just imagine if Jobs and his team at Apple didn’t release the Macintosh, iMac, iPod with iTunes, iPhone, MacBook Air and the iPad. Because of the mighty push from Jobs, when he co-founded the company in 1976 and then we he came back (yes, Apple fired Jobs) in 1997, the world of technology has been revolutionized. He created a stir and a struggle to create a newer and better user experience.

As I just hinted, Jobs was let go from his duties at the company he co-founded because of how he was handling the operations. He later claimed that “being fired from Apple was the best thing that could happen to him.” During his time away from Apple, he founded two companies called NeXT and Pixar. You should all know about Pixar, later sold to Disney, but NeXt was essentially a computer software company that was geared toward higher education and business use. When Jobs came back to a struggling Apple, the vision he always had with NeXT and Apple combined to deliver a world in which we think differently.

Amongst his discoveries and inventions, I continue to remind myself that passion and effort matter in life. You should always work hard and take risks to define who you are and what you believe in. Jobs has inspired and continues to inspire me through his actions, beliefs, and words. Here are just a few memorable quotes:

“I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.”

“Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

I’ve not only looked up to him for inspiration on how to make the world truly amazing, but I have learned from him how to think differently for the sake of human enjoyment. I’m honored to have known him when I look back through human history and ponder what it might have been like to live through the times of da Vinci, Edison, Einstein, Lennon, and Elvis.

After the death of all these memorable people, the world praises them for their creations, discoveries and hard work, which continue to be talked about for generations to come. As much as they are praised, many are also frowned upon. Jobs’ workplace ethics, behavior and obsessive perfectionism have always been hotly debated. But what matters is the work he has done, which could be likened to the celebrated achievements of Michael Jackson.

He was a technology determinist that created an environment at Apple that encouraged good ideas and then was able to use them to create and conquer entire markets. His ability to create the future made many competitors “face palm” and change their strategies, if only to nip at the heels of Apple’s success.

I, again, can say I’m honored to have actually known of Steve Jobs, even though I have only dreamed of seeing him in person. Who wouldn’t want to just say, “Thank you, Steve,” to him personally?

My life would surely not be the same without the experience provided by my Apple products. I know how so many other lives have also been changed for the better, and how I and others now have the ability to create as much positive change as Steve in our world.

What’s next? Life will go on, new products will be created, and new problems will need to be solved.

In closing, I want to share this story that Walt Mossberg of All Things D shared that gives a glimpse into Jobs’ character:

“After his liver transplant, while he was recuperating at home in Palo Alto, California, Steve invited me over to catch up on industry events that had transpired during his illness. It turned into a three-hour visit, punctuated by a walk to a nearby park that he insisted we take, despite my nervousness about his frail condition.

“He explained that he walked each day, and that each day he set a farther goal for himself, and that, today, the neighborhood park was his goal. As we were walking and talking, he suddenly stopped, not looking well. I begged him to return to the house, noting that I didn’t know CPR and could visualize the headline: ‘Helpless reporter Lets Steve Jobs Die on the Sidewalk.’

“But he laughed, and refused, and, after a pause, kept heading for the park. We sat on a bench there, talking about life, our families, and our respective illnesses (I had had a heart attack some years earlier.) He lectured me about staying healthy. And then we walked back.

“Steve Jobs didn’t die that day, to my everlasting relief. But now he really is gone, much too young, and it is the world’s loss.”

You can say thanks to him or share your thoughts and memories by sending a message to [email protected]