Steve Jobs, RIP

Courtesy of YouTube/StanfordUniversity 

Of course, most people will see this post as coming very late. More than a year late. Steve Jobs died on October 5, 2011. He was, of course, known for his leadership of Apple, towards becoming the most valuable company in the world, and the drive behind numerous innovative products (iPod, iPhone, iPad, etc.).

But Steve Jobs was also (eventually, if not always earlier) the inspiration for many. His passion, on stage delivering new product launches; his drive to deliver; his dedication to perfection; his creative instinct; his personal ‘turnaround’ (founding Apple, leaving Apple, returning to Apple, and his ultimate success at Apple).

I’ve read Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs. To my surprise  (and probably many, but not all others) it paints a picture of someone with personality traits that don’t always help his own motivations, that one might not expect in a leader, a role model – arrogance and abrasiveness, his ‘reality distortion field’, the ‘crying’ when things didn’t work out for him, and the betrayal of some of his closest confidants (Woz, Lisa Brennan, etc.). No doubt, these sides to Jobs have affected my perception of him.

The Forstall connection

Funnily perhaps, it was the departure of Scott Forstall from Apple, that finally prompted this post. In some ways, it’s a cleaning out at Apple – one of Jobs’ last lieutenants (some saw Forstall as being “the next Jobs”). Of course, much of Jobs’ legacy remains, not least in Apple’s new CEO, Tim Cook, and Jony Ive, and most of Apple’s products. But it seems, to an outsider, that Forstall was ‘of the Jobs mould’. On his departure, inside reports (such as this), are of jubilation, of political wins to oust a difficult character.

I’m sure Forstall has done ‘ok’ by Apple, but he’s still young, and very talented – I hope he finds a new role, that allows him to continue to deliver (after all, he was responsible for iOS, and therefore partly responsible for the success of iPhone and iPad). With his departure from Apple dies another lit bit of Steve Jobs.

The inspiration

Steve Jobs needs to be remembered for his personal success, his reluctance to lie down and give up, and his genuine desire, his passion to create and deliver. He delivered the results to prove that.

There are fantastic stories, slowly now appearing (for example, here, on Quora) that highlight the person behind the persona. Perhaps these stories also counter slightly the sometimes emotional, less favorable characteristics highlighted in Isaacson’s book.

I sometimes find myself thinking “What would Jobs have done here?”, or applying principles of innovation adhered to by Steve Jobs (see for example my previous post ‘Where do ideas come from’). He may not have been an all-encompassing role model, but he was certainly someone who has achieved much, and moved the boundary for what can be achieved by others – he dared to believe in possibility. I love the way he used phrases like “putting a dent in the universe”, and the “crazy ones” video (see below).

He was a leader of our generation, and the world is a lesser place without him. Hopefully his legacy (not just Apple, but the passion of entrepreneurs, innovators, designers and ‘misfits’ the world over) will live on for a long time.

RIP Steve Jobs, a crazy one, a misfit

Courtesy of YouTube/dogtownmac  

One Response

  1. Quite right do. What a high-achieving guy he was. Love that Quora story.

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