The world has lost a great leader and icon of the Silicon Valley and computer era. Some might even call him a marketing genius. There is no doubt that the recent passing of Steve Jobs has sent waves of emotion throughout the Silicon Valley and the world. Even though I didn’t know Steve Jobs personally, I still felt a great sense of loss considering just how much he has changed and influenced the technology age by taking innovative risks and ultimately changing the way the world communicates (Mac, iPhone, iPad, etc.) consumes music (iPod, iTunes, etc.), enabling us all to connect with each other. The simplicity and ease of use of Apple’s products speak for themselves. (I can say that confidently as I type this blog post on my Mac :-))
I was in NYC on business when I heard the news (through Twitter first). It felt strange to not be in the valley with the rest of my technology peers experiencing the sadness of the loss together. After all, I had just visited the Apple campus a day earlier and received a tour from a friend who works there. So I did the next best thing… I headed down to the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue (which is open 24 hours btw!) where I found myself surrounded by hundreds of New Yorkers who also wanted to honor the legacy of Steve Jobs.
News reporters gathered as an Apple fan lit a candle on his iPad. Flowers were left on the steps leading up to the Apple store. People smiled at each other and told stories about endlessly waiting in line for sleek and sexy iPhones and iPads. Passersby who had yet to hear the news stopped to inquire and they too, payed tribute to Apple’s visionary leader, by simply standing shoulder to shoulder for a moment of silence.
I echo the sentiments of our CEO, John Chambers:
“The world lost a true visionary and great man today. Steve Jobs did more than simply shape our concepts of technology and invention, he helped define our understanding of how great innovation and design can bring people closer together. I, and everyone at Cisco, am deeply saddened by Steve’s loss. Our deepest sympathies go out to his colleagues and family. We’ll miss you, Steve, but your legacy will continue forever.”
– John Chambers, CEO, Cisco
A couple of my favorite quotes from Steve Jobs:
“My model for business is The Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other’s kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That’s how I see business: great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people.”
– Steve Jobs
The following quote is from Steve’s commencement address at Standford in 2005. If you haven’t had an opportunity to watch, it’s definitely worth the 15 minutes.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
– Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs challenged the world to ‘think different” and to take risks. Technology alone is not enough. It’s about bringing people together. That is how lives are touched. Thank you Steve, for bringing the world closer together. My deepest sympathies go out to Steve’s family and friends. May he rest in peace knowing that the impact that he has made on both technology and people will live on in his honor.