Thursday, October 6, 2011

In Memoriam: Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

Why has Steve Jobs' demise taken on the dimension of a personal loss to many?

The reason for it may be because through his technological vision - from the Apple I to the iMac, the Ipod, the Iphone and the Ipad - he became a part of our lives. Through all these products..:
  1. He allowed us a tactile appreciation of breakthrough design, not just a feast for the eyes, but a memorable encounter of a product, from selection in meticulously planned Apple stores, to the opening of that boxed product ~ the packaging of which was within Jobs' purview to ensure as every bit an experience as the product itself.
  2. He gave us a richer experience of music through his Ipods. The quality of the music was clear, we can select all the songs we want, and through it construct the soundtrack for our lives as we go about living it.
  3. He made us celebrate life with photos and videos, and he knew we only want our memory of those events captured in photo and video in the best quality possible, and he gave us the tools so we can play with them, from iPhoto, to the iMovies.
In a way, his obsessive preoccupation to detail, to merging 'technology with the liberal arts', to coming up with a masterpiece always -- in a way, it reflects the great reverence Steve Jobs had for man. He believed with an abundance of passion that mankind deserves nothing less than excellence and nothing short of perfection. This philosophy he very much showed in his business, and very well echoed in his own life. Many find precious comfort and clarity in the words he left us, his life's lessons that we will all ponder upon as his instructions for living:

Death as Life's best Invention
“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true."

Love What You Do, Do What You Love
“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. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”

Connecting the Dots
“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.”

Follow Your Heart
“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.”

Through his results and his example, we have been inspired and showed a way to the top.
Thank you, Steve Jobs.