Steve Jobs: A Genius in Heaven

October 6, 2011 § 1 Comment

“We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die, you know? And we’ve all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it.” ~ Steve Jobs

Today, the world mourns the loss of Steve Jobs. He was an incredible innovator. He was an original. He was absolutely brilliant.

A chorus of voices sings his praises this day, and rightly so. He changed the way we live. He did what many think is pure pipe-dream: he actually DID change the world ~ and as many of us believe, for the better.

So what can I add to the barrage of conversation? Probably nothing new. Except to say that I was truly moved when I learned of his passing, and part of me thinks none mourns his loss more than the design community.

Sure, his products have exploded around the globe. Every 5-year-old knows what iPods and iPhones are, as previous boundaries of Mac-users vs. PC-users were swept away like beach pebbles with the wave of all things “i”.

But the design community has been there every step of the way. We were there at the beginning with our little Apple SE’s, practically dancing in the streets when released from the shackles of rubber cement and color separations prepared by hand and lines of type precisely cut by t-squares, triangles and exacto blades. Our world shifted dramatically as Macs created this amazing bridge between creativity and productivity.

We’ve been excited by each new development and loyal to a fault. Thrilled with the simple joy, the “fun”, of using our Macs over the years. We’ve loved their cleverness, their cleanliness, their friendliness, their aesthetics and their power. We, in all honesty, don’t understand how anyone couldn’t love a Mac.

And we watched the young man behind the machines grow, fall, rise again and become a giant. We’ve admired his style, his creativity, his leadership, his greatness. We liked him as a person. He had that unusual quality of someone who is inaccessible yet feels like an old friend.

It’s hard to fathom the difference made through this one man’s vision, and the number of lives touched. Steve Jobs was a genius in our midst, and I, one among many, am awed and exceptionally grateful for his incredible mind, his perseverance and his authenticity. His legacy is great, his gifts lasting. What a blessing, taken too soon. But there’s no easy explanation for magic.

A tribute message to the late Steve Jobs written in lipstick is seen on the window of the Apple Store in Santa Monica. (Reuters: Lucy Nicholson)

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