Remembering Steve Jobs – the crazy one

For the first few seconds after I read this news on 5th, my world came crashing down on me. It was perhaps the only time that I didn’t care for the technology news; I didn’t want to write about it. Why doesn’t the world realize that my Hero is dead! I don’t care about a world that is a lot less exciting than it was when Steve was around.

Every generation has its heroes. Among the people, who inspire me, I’ve read about Mahatma Gandhiji only in books. So for me, Steve Jobs was the only living legend, I could look at. I don’t know why, how and where that happened but Steve was my icon. To me, just the idea of Steve was powerful enough.

For many of us who live and die for technology and the change it represents, he was an example of what was possible. Steve put life and soul into inanimate objects. Everyone cared for specifications; he saw opportunities that inspired emotions. People saw a phone; Steve saw a transporter of love. People saw a tablet; he saw smiles and wide-eyed amazement. He made time machines that brought us all together through a camera, screen and a connection. In short, he touched everyone through his work.

He moved industries, companies, and most importantly people. He changed the world with his products and passion. The cumulative impact of the man himself, and all those who he touched is just staggering. 
When your rivals, partners, competitors, customers, etc. pay tribute to you, you surely have done a commendable job. That is exactly what Steven Paul Jobs aka Steve Jobs did. A convert to Zen Buddhism, he was convinced as anyone could be that this life is all there is. He hoped to put a “ding in the universe” by his own genius and vision in this life alone—and who can deny that he did?

For the world, he was Visionary, Marketing/Creative Genius, Pioneer, Marketer, Passionate Techie and what not.
To me, he was an Idol, Guide & a Mentor to whom I never met but always looked up to as a source of inspiration. He was the first person in my early days of Technology career from whom I learned what is PASSION and how great it is when you love what you do, it shows in your work.

The idea of Steve led me to follow my heart, make tough choices, be brutally honest with myself (and sometimes annoying to people I love). There are simple ways to get along with everyone. There are easier ways to get things done. But to me Steve Jobs meant try harder, damn it, your loved ones expect better than that from you. I learned how to care about the little things, because in the end, little things matter.
He taught me:

  • What it is to be a Perfectionist and be a person of excellence by following perfectionism
  • Setting high standards for everything in life with a refusal to compromise
  • To do what you love, to change the world.
  • He liked a quote from Wayne Gretzky “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been” and that has inspired me to work with futuristic/emerging technologies from the day one of my Career.

I believe Steve is the first truly transformative figure to die in an age of transformative technology. And the fact that he was transformative in technology just compounds the reactions to his death right now.

In many ways, it’s perfect that the video below surfaced again after Jobs’ passing. It’s the original Apple “Think Different” commercial. In it, images of transformative people throughout 20th century are shown as a narrator toasts to them for changing the world. In the versions aired on TV, narrator is Richard Dreyfuss.

It reads as follows:
Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Perhaps he didn’t know it in 1997 when he recorded this, but that is absolutely Steve Jobs describing himself. He was crazy enough to think he could change the world. And he did.

One More Thing(as he always said in his product announcements)
I love you, Steve. Your spirit will always live with us. Thank you Steve, for inspiring me to “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish”

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