The obits for Steve Jobs seem scattered. Was he an iconoclast – breaking paradigms and forging new paths? Was he an autodidact and self-starter – starting in a garage and starting over again whenever needs demanded? Was he prickly and hard to work with – clashing with those who couldn’t accept his vision and guidance? Was he a gifted engineer and a genius at marketing?
Of course it is hard to sum up a life in 1000 words. Jobs may have been all those things. And we are only talking about his public life since he kept his private life quite guarded. Who knows what additional aspects he possessed.
What I see though is a man of passion who was able to communicate that to others. Those two elements could have existed in a person in any field and moved them towards success. To the extent that Jobs had them, the person would be destined to become a paragon in their field.
I didn’t really get Apple until I bought my first iPod. I became an instant fanboy. I remain a fanboy. An iFanboy. Because I could see Job’s passion in every line of the device. It was just a shell of metal and plastic in a cardboard box. I have no idea how many people had a hand in its design, implemenation, QA and manufacture. How can a souless gadget convey passion? That is the gift I received from Steve Jobs.
I reflect now on whether I am putting my passion into my own life. Whether I am communicating that out. Reflection and a lesson that I should have been able to learn before the man’s passing.