— This post was written on the day Steve Jobs passed away. Needles to say it’s dedicated to him.
The day I met Steve Jobs never came. I wished it had.
If it had come, I’m not sure what I’d say, though. What can you say to someone who is a big part of your inspiration ? I’d probably just mumble – “it’s an honor to meet you”. But hey – I say it to a lot of people during my line of work. It’s much more than that.
You see – I usually excel at what I do. Sometimes I even give good advises to friends & family (at least that’s what they say). And sometimes I even create something I’m very proud of.
There was a period in which I used to think I’m too big for this world. Yep, a bit arrogant.
Life put me “back in place” after understanding that in my line of work (inventing start-ups) – being good, or even excellent, is just an entry ticket.
Steve Jobs nailed the final nail in my “bigger than life” coffin.
I heard mentions of Steve Jobs during my short life, but never put much attention until he came out with the iPhone. I never saw myself as an Apple fanboy, nor do I see myself as such today. I’m even considering buying an… (whispering)… Android.
Yet, once he did draw my attention, and once I read about his life, and heard his speech at Stanford (here) – I got inspired. It also made me much more humble.
His story is so dramatic, with such turns of events – that even the best Hollywood writers couldn’t come up with such a plot (but they will do now – I bet you).
Just from the time I came to know him, after the launch of the iPhone on 2007, this man created two inflection points in the business world – shaking the grounds of two different industries – the mobile and the laptops – with the introduction of the iPhone and the iPad.
Players that were long time in business, and basically were the established kings in their respective markets – were now fighting for their lives. Others were trying to adjust to a fast changing reality – dictated by the man behind the company.
And that’s from 2007 only. His doings were echoed through the world much before that – the disruption of the music industry with the iPod family and pay-per-song, Pixar’s animation movies or even before with the Mac.
No, I’m not an Apple fanboy – but this is remarkable. This man changed how we consume music, how we consume information and how we communicate with the virtual world and more. Even if you don’t own a single Apple device – the design of what you *do* own instead – was probably affected by Apple.
I often silently applauded him.
And what’s amazing and maybe the most inspiring part is that Steve wasn’t perfect. I didn’t know him well, or even in person, but to me, he always seemed to be taking things too personally – not something I’d expect from a first-class business man. He got mad, he got fired, he was “down” for a period of time (as he admitted, after being fired from Apple). He was human. Like us.
For me, this was the inspiring part: I can posses what we classify as “negative feelings”, I can lose my temper, I can sometime let life take me down – and it’s fine. I can still chase my dreams and make them reality. There’s nothing there to stop me, but myself. I don’t need to be perfect.
He gave me no excuses.
So, what would I say to him if I met him ? I have no idea. I’d probably nod in respect – but he’d never know how much respect hides behind this small nod.
The day I met Steve never came, and never will.
That’s a shame.