This morning I woke up to an email from Patrick Rhone. It was a succinct email, with a strange subject: “He showed up”. Inside there was a link to Apple’s Website.
That’s how I knew. It was 8:00am here in Spain, and the Internet had been bursting with activity over the news for a few hours already. It still seems unreal. I knew he was very ill, and I knew that his recent resignation as Apple’s CEO probably meant that things were looking bad, but somehow I thought, like many of us did, that Steve could beat this. Sadly, it was not to be.
Steve Jobs was one of my heroes. And I don’t have many of them. He was a unique person, who changed the world through sheer force of will. I never got to know him personally, but it’s difficult to understate the influence he had on my life, both personally and professionally. It wasn’t just me though, he touched the lives of many, many people through his work, and he changed the way we think of computers forever. But he was so much more.
What really made Steve Jobs different was his ability to inspire those around him, to encourage them to be the very best they could be. Whatever you do in life, give it your absolute best shot, and don’t stop until you’re proud of what you’ve accomplished. That’s his legacy. That’s the critical role he played both at Apple and Pixar. He will be remembered, not for being the inventor of the iPhone, or even the original Macintosh, but for being the most compelling leader the industry has ever known.
What he leaves behind is a company built on those principles. A company that has taken the world by storm. It’s the work of a lifetime, and what a lifetime that was.
Here’s to the crazy ones. Thank you, Steve.