Over on the Lockergnome Q&A site, someone recently asked if Apple would die without Steve Jobs. What a timely discussion to be having, in light of the news spreading today about his health. There is no doubt that Jobs was instrumental in building the company into what it is today. But that doesn’t mean it will shrivel up and die without him.
Apple has been based on Steve’s eye for product for many years. I don’t think the company will go to hell in a handbasket though. I’d like to believe he’s imparted enough insight and foresight to his employees that the company will carry on just fine. It won’t be the same, no. If Apple doesn’t maintain its course in the way it does things, it will slip into obscurity.
Some people like to claim Apple is “dead” anyway. They’ll tout “Windows this” or “Android that.” I don’t know that Apple has ever tried to be some mythical “number one” at anything, though. Let’s take a look at money made just from handsets alone. That number – for Apple – is so high, my hand went off the screen during the video. As an operating system, Android could be “number one.” But they aren’t making as much money as Apple is.
For me, it’s about having the best-working device and experience possible. I wasn’t an Apple fan up until just a couple of years ago. I shifted when Apple began to shift. It’s about quality and elegance. That’s something that isn’t rivaled by any other company. Everyone else is just a kluge. I’m saying that with all due respect, but no one has the style that Apple is throwing out the door every day.
Apple has a fine attention to detail. That’s what makes them the power company they are. The hope is that the same attention to detail has permeated every employee. The company will succeed just fine without Steve Jobs. Does that mean we won’t mourn his loss? Of course not. He’s a leader… a visionary. But he’s not the only person who possesses those qualities.
Today, word came across the wire that Steve Jobs was undergoing treatment for his pancreatic cancer. It’s possible that he only has weeks to live, which would only cast a dark cloud over the entire consumer electronics industry.
We need a Steve Jobs – just as we need every other tech visionary. He may not always play ball, but that’s PRECISELY WHY we need him.
When I Tweeted this news yesterday, I said that if Steve Jobs were to die, a piece of me would die with him. Many people responded with their agreement, but one kid in particular sparked this video. He replied and stated that if the worst happens to Jobs, he (the kid) would celebrate. I forgave him that, because he IS a kid. The problem is, this kid is also a geek – in a big way.
Even if you don’t like Steve Jobs or Apple, you cannot deny the ways in which they have influenced you. Losing that inspiration is not something to celebrate. The way the world works is through inspiration. Art inspires art. Technology inspires technology. People inspire people.
Speaking as someone who didn’t care too much about Apple or Steve Jobs himself until recently, you should pause before saying something so incredibly short-sighted. Even though it was a kid who Tweeted that, I’m pretty sure there are plenty of adults who would say something similar regarding the loss of this man who is a visionary and a great leader. You cannot deny his influence and inspiration.
At any point in the future – no matter how long it takes – when it happens, keep in mind that Steve Jobs inspired something in your life… directly or indirectly. To celebrate the loss of his life is making you look like a moron. I wouldn’t consider you someone worthy of my respect were you to say something rude about any visionary leaving this Earth long before their time. I’d be saying the same thing if we were discussing Steve Ballmer right now.
Like it or not – Steve Jobs is a leader. That’s the type of leadership that every single one of us geeks has been inspired by. He is the type of leader we need more of, folks. We need people who can step up to the plate and take on the challenge of leading a technology generation into the future. It’s not something that everyone could do, obviously, but it’s something that needs to happen.
Instead of spending your time trolling and doing nothing with your life, why not do SOMETHING? Take this as a call to action. Become the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. You have that power in you. Fifty years from now, the world could mourn your loss and be inspired by the things you did.
Don’t just sit there. DO SOMETHING with your life. Realize that you don’t have to be the next Torvolds or Gates or Jobs – as long as you’re doing something. There are small ways you can inspire others… small ways you can leave your mark on the world. But by God – get off your butt and make that mark. Stop being afraid. Stop holding yourself back with excuses. Stop whining about how everyone is against you and there’s nothing you can do about it. Many others before you have blown those excuses out of the water, and so can you.
If you have a dream – make it happen. If you have an idea – turn it into a reality. If you have passion – act on it. Your life is going to be what YOU make of it. Make it something good.
Edited to add: After this video and post had gone live, I received the following email from Jamo. He has given me permission to post his words verbatim. If what I had to say didn’t touch you in some way, perhaps Jamo’s words will strike a chord within you.
Something possessed me to type up part of your monologue from your “Steve Jobs’ Cancer – Dying Soon?” video. If I had to say why I did, it would be because it struck a chord with me in one way or another. I am only an 18 year old kid (I say kid and not adult because I feel I am not yet mature or wise enough to call myself a true adult. And I am sad to say that I also don’t believe that a good amount of ‘adults’ should call themselves that either) so I still feel I have time to wise up and make the world a better place and I will most certainly do my best to do so. I am so glad that you are using your unique position in the world to tell people that they really need to do something. I also applaud you being so direct and not fearing the backlash that may come with it. I think that people need to hear this. I decided to bold the parts that really stuck out to me:
“Unfortunately, I would go as far as to say, unfortunately, 90% of the people that comment on this video have done nothing with their lives, nothing. And sadly, they will likely continue to do nothing with their lives. So take this as a call to action. Become the next Steve Jobs. Become the next Bill Gates. You have that power in you. So that 50 years from now the world would mourn your loss and be inspired by the things you did, because if you’re not providing inspiration, quite honestly, you are taking up space; you are wasting your life.”
I very much agree with this and I want you to know that it has done nothing less than strengthen my testimony of the importance of doing something of use in life and not just being a stagnant lump on society’s butt. I wanted to make aware that what you said has strengthened at least one person that listened to it.
So I would like to end this by saying thank you for making this video, taking you time to read through this email and doing your part to inspire the world.