Last year, I saw Steve Jobs at a local restaurant. It was the weekend, and he was enjoying brunch with his kids. I turned to my sister and said "I think that's Steve Jobs". She said "I don't think so." After we ordered our meal and drinks, the waiter came by and said that my drink was going to take a little longer, as it had accidentally been sent over to Steve Jobs. There are some old photographs at the front of the restaurant, and as Steve was leaving, he stopped for a minute to study the pictures before walking with his kids out to the car. Paired with his thinness, he seemed to quite tall, not something I had realized before.
My memory is of him being a family man and father, and of him being a guy at a restaurant on an Saturday morning who accidentally got my drink. Aside from moments like these, I mostly knew Steve Jobs through proxy.
With Steve Jobs being a generation older than me, I remember classrooms in elementary school being filled with Apple computers. I remember when he made his triumphant return when Apple was on the verge of going out of business, and partnering up with Microsoft. I remember hearing about his "reality distortion field" shortly afterward, that his enthusiasm for something could be so infectious that if you were near him, you'd start to believe in it as well. His passion for his ideas and his beliefs propelled Apple for the last decade. Apple was not his only company, he started NeXT, and bought and developed Pixar to become the major animation studio it is today.
When he stepped down as Apple's CEO, I knew this day was coming, though I wished with all my heart that he could beat his illness.
Farewell Steve Jobs, you will be missed. Thank you for giving us the future.
Steve Jobs gave a Commencement Speech at Stanford in 2005, in which he said:
"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.
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma -- which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."