I never met him, but I knew him. I never talked to him, but he spoke to me often. I never saw him present his creations live, but my vision of him is burned into my brain.
Steve Jobs has left the Earth but his legacy and ideas are with each of us and we will be touched every day for decades.
When I learned of his death, I was so saddened I could not write. I just sat there in disbelief, realising that the life of the business hero I followed would no longer be alive to announce the next amazing technological product.
After a few hours, I posted this on all of my social media outlets:
“Steve Jobs has passed away but his legacy will live longer than any of us. I am sad that my business hero has gone to his final reward and forever grateful for what he has done to my world, both in business and in life. Thank you Steve for a Jobs well done.”
The laptop, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad were created and improved beyond the imagination or the capability of 1,000 of his peers. The great Bill Gates tried and failed – many times – to top Apple’s products. So have every one of his competitors.
And Jobs did all of this with quiet dignity, genius, eloquence and simplicity.
If you own an Apple product, any Apple product, there’s one thing you don’t need – an instruction manual. I have been using everything Mac and everything Apple since 1984 and I have NEVER read one word of “how-to” instruction.
Part of Jobs’ design genius was to make every product intuitive.
One man reinvented the computer, the operating system, the music player, and the cell phone (now called a smartphone) and created a tablet to fill a market space that no one even knew was void – the iPad.
The iPad2 is changing the face of book publishing and book distribution, the same way the iPod changed music and music distribution.
Amazing? No, it’s genius.
Once Jobs hit his stride, he only looked, and leaped, forward. He turned idea into vision, vision into reality and reality into billions. Apple retail stores have lines around the corner for new product launches. On an average day, it’s hard to see the floor because the stores are so crowded. More genius? Every employee in the store is a cash register.
Not bad for a college dropout.
I, like millions of others, admired him as a person of courage.
I, like millions of others, are more than sad he’s gone.
I, like millions of others, have been affected by his products.
I, like millions of others, are more than grateful for his contributions.
Death has always had a challenging effect on me. My candle flame that burns seems brighter and hotter with the death of Jobs. I have a greater sense of urgency and a renewed drive to achieve more in a shorter time.
Watching tributes tonight, I saw his Stanford University graduation address that was delivered in 2005 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1R-jKKp3NA). It’s a typical Jobs message of humour, brilliance, simplicity and riveting truth.
Jobs did not just leave a legacy, he also left a lesson. Do what you love and believe will make a difference. And do it full force, in the face of naysayers and obstacles.
What are you thinking about? What is your vision? What are you working on? How are you turning your hard work into your reality?
And, when you are done, who will it affect for a lifetime?
Jobs blazed a trail of amazing accomplishment. His legacy of innovation and achievement is more than one person could imagine. He parallels Edison as a pioneer. One or more of his marks are most likely in your home.
I humbly thank him, wish him a peaceful journey and hope his family will revel in the memory of a great thinker, a great leader, a great marketer, a great family man and a great person.
On my LinkedIn comments this morning someone posted iSad. And immediately someone else posted iSad2.
I couldn’t have “sad” it any better.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website, www.gitomer.com, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email firstname.lastname@example.org