I’m normally not the type of person who pauses to reflect whenever a celebrity passes away. But when I heard the news that Steve Jobs passed, I unapologetically shed a tear.
I bought my first Mac in 1986. I still have my Mac Plus. Throughout the years I’ve used many Apple products – Powerbook 170, eMac, Powerbook 12”, Powerbook 15”, MacBook Pro 15”, iPod Shuffle, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4. They have all served me well. I suppose if I took the money I spent on Macs and invested it in Apple stock I’d be rich now. But that’s hindsight.
What attracted me to Apple was their design ethos. The interception of art and technology, as Steve famously put it. OS X allowed me to work the way I wanted to work. I tried Windows 95 & 98 and found the experience frustrating. Us Mac users rightfully boast “It simply works!”
I never met Steve. Never saw him in person. I knew him from afar. I watched his Keynote speeches at MacWorld, WWDC and Apple’s media events. His rollout of the iPhone stands at one of the best sales presentations of all time. I learned his life story. And what a story it was. Steve wasn’t perfect. But he had a vision. And he acted upon it.
Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle. – Steve Job’s 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech
Several times in my life I didn’t settle. When I decided to attend college after working fruitlessly for a few years after high school. Leaving the Corporate Treadmill that was Dick’s after years of 50+ hour weeks. Relocating my Family from Ohio to sunny California. Taking up the turnaround challenge at CBO. I kicked myself in the ass to make things change. It was all about doing great work.
Today I am in a great relationship with a fabulous woman. In my heart I know Alexandra is the right one. And I know in my heart that Coast Digital is the work that I want to do. I love both. I’m not going to settle for less. Thank you Steve for inspiring me.