Steve Jobs: A fanboy's farewell
"I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come. " - Steve Jobs, August 24, 2011
Those are the now chilling words that Steve Jobs penned to the shareholders of Apple and the broader Apple Community. If you have followed Steve Jobs' career and life as zealously as many of us have, you knew that was cause for worry and concern. Despite this final harbinger of despair however, many of us in the 'broader Apple Community' held out hope - perhaps foolishly and certainly naively that Steve's eventual passing was still months and years away.
It wasn't... if you haven't heard yet, Steve Jobs passed away last night, 42 days after he formally stepped down as CEO of his company and legacy, Apple.
To say that something as material as a consumer electronics company is the only legacy of a man as legendary and visionary as Steve Jobs would be an atrocity of both reason and emotion. No, we should not remember Steve for just his ability to design and deliver great products that changed the world. We must remember him for his principles, his values, and his unwavering resolve never to compromise or settle. The very foundation of his legacy - whatever it is, let the historians decided - is built upon the pillars of Steve's principles. Watch the clip below to see an example of what he believed was Apple's core value.
Steve says, "We believe that people with passion can change the world for the better." The ad spot that was played alongside this speech celebrates the crazy ones:
My favourite moment of Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs always looked most comfortable on stage, wowing the crowd with his hyperboles and superlatives. He was also a dramatic man, a showman of the highest calibre. To this day, I get goosebumps when I watch this clip from the 2007 Macworld Expo. This marked the beginning of a new era for the entire telecom industry, this was how the world was introduced to the iPhone and I do believe that this was Steve's proudest moment...
Stanford Commencement Address
I watched this commencement address the summer before I graduated with my bachelor's degree. I was faced with pressure from all sides about what to do with my life. The commencement speech was unlike any other that I had seen and I believe it gave me the resolve to carry through my plans for graduate school despite all odds.
The speech consists of three anecdotes from Steve, connecting the dots, love and loss and death. You'll see many snippets of the speech on Twitter and Facebook as news of his passing travels through the web, but I won't ruin the beauty of his words and meaning by attempting to summarize the stories. I will however quote the one line that I still hold dear today and adopted as my mantra:
"Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish."
"Death is the destination we all share"
When I first started writing this, I did not know why I started. But now, having come to the end, I found the reason why and must admit the selfish nature of this post: I want this to serve as my memoir of him, filled with my favourite memories of a great man. I want this to help me come to a sort of closure. I want to remember the man that leads the list of inspirational figures in my life the way I want to - not the way some other blogger, journalist or website wants me to remember him.
Farewell Steve, I wish you all the best. I close with this clip of a smiling Steve Jobs thanking the audience at the WWDC conference in June 2011 for their support. Leave your tributes in the comments.
P.S. Thanks to all my friends for the condolences...