Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs Delighted the World Through Discovery

It was Jobs' job, indeed, to thine own self be true. But what about the customer? Steve wanted that job too and he certainly did a helluva job. Mr. Jobs’s own research and intuition, not focus groups, were his guide, said a recent NYT article. When asked what market research went into the iPad, Mr. Jobs replied: “None. It’s not the consumers’ job to know what they want.”

Which is somewhat funny, considering he created products that people tend to hold more dear than most personal relationship. Ask anyone who claims to be an Apple advocate; would you rather lose your [iPhone, Mac, iPad, etc] for a day or not talk to your [mom, dog, child, etc.] and a fair percentage would opt to stay connected to a Jobs' labor of love over their own.

The New York Times article that details the life and times of Steve Jobs may be considered an official obituary, but it's way more than that. It's a tribute to the very idea of innovation and connectivity that is such a critical component to overall human growth. It has a link to Steve Jobs' patents. It has a section for reader submissions to invite people to contribute their thoughts on how he touched their life. It offers page after page of fine detail of a life well lived. A baby born out of adoption, a child with electronic genius, a Cupertino high school dude and his Wozniak best friend and all the adventures that became so worldly known; a date with Joan Baez, a crush on Bob Dylan perhaps (who could blame him for that?!?!) a birthday party with Ella Fitzgerald, a personal corporate jet, a little LSD here and a little that there, a handful of children to adore and a few decent patents.

It's inspiring, this curtailed life. Makes you think that there should be more and at the same time, reminds us to smile about the fact that it happened at all.



Not at all an exaggeration, Steve Jobs quipped more than once that Mark Twain was inevitably correct in his 1897 New York Times article detailing an illness and an exaggerated death. This time around, Jobs' own New York Times obituary ends with,

If he had a motto, it may have come from “The Whole Earth Catalog,” which he said had deeply influenced him as a young man. The book, he said in his commencement address at Stanford in 2005, ends with the admonition “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”


“I have always wished that for myself,” he said.