I was as shocked and saddened last night as the rest of the world when the news hit that Steve Jobs had passed away. And I was surprised by how emotional and sad I was feeling about his death — much out of proportion to what I'd think I'd be feeling about the death of a high tech CEO.
I worked on a Mac for a few years, but have been a PC person for most of my life. We own some iPods and my daughter got an iPhone a few months ago, but we're not truly "Apple" people, in fact, I've always been amused by how militant "Apple" people were.
It could be because he was only 56 — not all that many years older than I am. Or it could be because he was a local boy who made good — he grew up in the Bay Area, started Apple here and became a high tech titan, redefined what good design is, and helped make Silicon Valley what it is today. As a friend and former manager said on my Facebook posting about it, "...also the fact that we (you and I at least) were working in high tech during the early Apple days. We remember that special time in Silicon Valley history and have watched Steve Jobs and the evolution of Apple ever since."
I'm kind of stunned and at the same time impressed by the outpouring of grief and remembrances on social media channels. Facebook has a new page and a new community, both called RIP Steve Jobs, and together they have almost 100,000 fans. I gave up trying figure out how to count the tweets hashtagged #RIPSteveJobs, #SteveJobs, #iSad, but I'm sure we'll be seeing some totals in the next few days.
Not surprisingly, Apple's home page is now a tribute to their founder. And even Google quickly added a tribute to their home page.
Time magazine stopped the presses to rework their cover story. President Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg all had words of praise for Steve Jobs' legacy, and condolences for his passing.
Fandango offered to donate up to $10,000 to the
There have been shrines and flowers and tears, and hundreds if not thousands of articles and blog posts about how personally people are feeling his loss from our world.
I doubt that Steve Jobs could have known how his creativity and perfectionism and vision would be mourned. But he did know what was truly important, and that's a lesson we can all take to heart.
"When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart." ~ Steve Jobs