On Steve Jobs
My Twitter timeline is, without exaggeration, 100% about Steve Jobs right now. I have never seen that before. Not during the mini earthquake, or hurricane Irene, or Michael Jackson’s death - not ever.
Sure, the man’s career had many comebacks. More than one of his products reached approximately “every home in America.” But I’m not sure that explains why people from all walks of life have such high regard for him.
When he stepped down as CEO of Apple, I tweeted this:
“Great products don’t just showcase creativity; they unlock it in others. I think this explains all the Steve Jobs love today.”
His body of work proved convincingly that art, technology, and, yes, commerce could all converge quite beautifully. And in a way that just happened to enable millions to be innovative and artistic… to get rich, do good, or both.
A contrast to the high art and technology of Apple products: on the subway home today, before I heard the news about Steve, a woman was asking for spare change along with her two very young children. I have never seen that before either, and it really got to me. How bad is it getting out there? What is happening in my city, my country? My reaction might also have something to do with welcoming a daughter of my own 3 months ago. I come from very humble beginnings, but I never once went to bed hungry. I hope Luna never does either.
When I tell my daughter about our life in the year she was born, I’ll mention how I was fortunate to work in NYC, one of the bright pockets of innovation in an otherwise awful economy. I’ll tell her that most of us saw a lot of money to be made.
In that future conversation, here’s what I also hope to say: amid the frothy valuations and exits, many of us believed our connected age would be the greatest force for good in generations. The more we made this true, the more everything else would come.
Today it’s clear the person who taught us to think this way was Steve Jobs.
Thank you, Steve. We are trying.