circa October 2011
Celebrate Steve Jobs
Earlier this week, I met with Larry Bock, an incredibly successful bio-tech entrepreneur who lives in San Diego. During our conversation, he shared many reflections from his storied career, dropping several gems of wisdom worth remembering, and one particularly salient insight: “As a society, we get more of what we celebrate.” In that light, I would like to celebrate the life of Steve Jobs, who was a hero for me, and many others. This is the eulogy I wrote within an hour of hearing of his death. Thank you Steve.
“Every man dies. Not every man truly lives.” His spirit will live on, not just in his products, but in every person he inspired. He stood for something — for the belief that technology is about more than bits and bites, that it can dignify our humanity, be a source of joy, and a work of art. And for so much more. For the pirates. And the crazy ones, who dare to think different. In an age of 1984 — of cold machines and numb bureaucracy, of faceless tyrannies and collectivism — he was defiant, as if through sheer force of will, he smashed the screen. Apple wasn’t just his company, his ads weren’t just ads, his products weren’t just products — they were that other way. It was about freedom, creativity, and the individual; about discovering self, finding meaning and celebrating the human journey. He was truly the greatest visionary, artist, creator, leader, and pioneer of his generation. He opened the frontier, he showed us what was possible. So let us honor him, by blazing our own trails, and chasing the infinite horizons.
[On August 24th, the day Steve resigned as CEO, I was overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude and together with millions of people, turned to Twitter to express it. As he has been such a defining influence on my career, I want to record those sentiments for the future by sharing them here…]
- for having the imagination to invent the future
- for hiring only the very best and for building a culture and an empire obsessed with being insanely great
- for creating immense value and wealth all around the world
- you’re my hero! I wish the singularity could have come sooner so you would have lived forever. Wish we could’ve met
- for everything in a life well lived. You were the Da Vinci of our time. I am honored to even be a witness.
- for your fruitful obsession with human-centered design over raw engineering, you were right- for showing me that nothing is impossible, that there are no limits other than those I chose to accept
- for letting your actions, instead of your words, tell your life story. You only gave one speech
- for showing us new frontiers all around us, and leading the way towards the infinite horizons
- for being a pirate, instead of joining the navy
- for doing what you love, and not settling for less
- for wrestling every failure till the ground, emerging stronger, bigger, more prepared to win the future
- for never, never, never, never, ever surrendering, even when things looked bleak and all seemed lost and friends left
- for taking huge risks, placing big bets, for having the courage to fail in public- for being big enough to take the heat, for not listening to the critics, for ignoring the downers, for staying calm
- for discovering your calling, for not being like everybody else, for setting your mind free to
- for being a role model to me and many others, who look up to you & will always remember what you stood for, what you did
- for that speech you gave at Stanford that changed my life, and has helped me make every big decision for two years now
- for staying the course until your health gave out, we know you did it for us.
- for saying “no” to anything less than perfect, for challenging your team to stretch beyond what they thought was possible
- for never losing sight of your vision, for dreaming big, but doing bigger, for daring to be unreasonable
- for inspiring us, for turning technology into art, for your mastery of the keynote