Steve Jobs did his best work after receiving a death sentence. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2004. In the last seven years Apple has revolutionized the computer and telecom world with the iPhone and iPad.
In Jobs’ commencement address to Stanford, which is on the video below, he talked about his life. He said at 17 he read a quote that said that one should look in the mirror every day and ask yourself if this is the last day of your life are you living it the way you want to live it. He said that he had lived his life that way ever since. The contemplation of your own death strips you naked of pretense and focuses you.
I have learned this lesson myself in the three years since the doctors told my wife that I had a 20 percent chance of surviving my heart failure.
I am writing this piece during the week between the Jewish High Holidays when Jews pray to be inscribed in the “Book of Life” for the coming year. Steve Jobs lived an incredibly productive life. He made the most of his days. The inspiration he offered those Stanford grads may be even more valuable than the usefulness of my amazing iPad and iPhone.
By Noah Graff
I often like to say, “Once you go Mac, you don’t go back.” Today I can’t stand to use a PC, I cringe when I just touch the keyboard of one of those brutish devices.
Apple’s are faster, easier to use, more intuitive to the user experience, sexy….blah blah blah — I know I sound like everyone today.
That said, Apple products have always had their quirks that got under my skin. The reason for this of course is that Steve Jobs, the visionary who made these wonderful machines possible, believed he knew what was best for me, regardless of what I thought I wanted. For example, when Apple came out with the G4 desktop it didn’t include a floppy drive, iPhones won’t read Flash, and Apple still doesn’t make a mouse with more than one button. And I still don’t understand why anybody would want to buy an iPod shuffle–an MP3 player that you can’t choose your own song on?
He was often a stubborn man, but Jobs was very right most of the time. He was the brains behind products that were so game changing that we didn’t even know we wanted them before they existed. Honestly, five years ago could you have fathomed a device that was an iPod, a computer, a phone, and a video/music/book store costing $100 and fit in your pocket? I didn’t know one was possible, I didn’t know I wanted one, I didn’t know that that device would change how I went about my daily life. Jobs knew better than me.
Question: How do you feel about the loss of Jobs (the man)?