Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs a Legend

My heart is heavy today in learning of the passing of a great American figure, Steve Jobs, the driving force behind one of the greatest American brands and business models, Apple.

So much can be said and is being said by the media and bloggers and users of Apple products from the young to senior citizens...I imagine a new record may be set in tributes to this icon who was a visionary leader and humble at the same time. Everyone admired Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs exemplified numerous qualities. What inspired me the  most is a rare personal moment that he shared during a commencement speech at Stanford University. In referring to his ousting at Apple "When I was rejected, I was still in love".  Even though the Apple computer company pushed him out at its pinnacle (the first wave), Steve still had a passion and followed it. He still had ideas and no one, no company, nothing would stop him from following his true love. In continuing to prove his incredible talents and vision at Pixar and other companies, Apple brought him back and Apple rose to meteoric highs.

For some, coming from a lower middle class family, money is a motivator. For Steve, not lacking in basic necessities, technology occupied his fascination and motivation. At the age of 17, he even picked up the phone and called the President of Intel for computer parts.

Steve became rich not at the expense of shareholders, but with shareholders. So when he returned to Apple, he did not earn a typical six or seven figure CEO salary with gross bonuses. He was content with $1 a year. ONE DOLLAR.

Steve Jobs provided "jobs". A technology that broke new ground and found users in all age groups  demanded a premium and customers were willing to pay. He went against the grain that Internet content should be free and charged a dollar or two. But $1.99 x  the number of people who downloaded an iTune translates into HUNDREDS of MILLIONS of dollars. Genius.

Greatness like Steve Jobs come once in a lifetime. There is DaVinci, Thomas Edison, Sam Walton, and in my adult lifetime, Steve Jobs. I am honored and will remember his words during times when I feel alone and defeated in my quest to follow my heart and make a difference.

Below is a video from ABC News recapping his life. To quote Jobs about death, as life's "single best invention of life", as a change agent, to clear out the old and bring in the new, "You are already naked, there is no reason not to follow your heart".

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