One more thing. Remembering Steve Jobs.

One more thing. Remembering Steve Jobs.

Summary: It's that truth of human frailty, manifested in someone so focused on perfection in all things, that truly gives me pause tonight. It takes my breath away. It's just so sad.

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TOPICS: Telcos, Apple
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This is the single suckiest home page I think I've ever seen. Not because it's not well done, but because the news it represents is...heartbreaking.

We all knew this day was coming, and it's a poignant shame that it comes the day after Apple's next generation iPhone announcement. Even so, even with the awareness of Steve's failing health, even with the sudden announcement that he was resigning from Apple, even with all of that, this...hurts.

It hurts even more because, despite all of Steve's wealth, power, influence, and success, the simple truth is that human is human. No matter who you are, you are still mortal. It stinks that someone who accomplished so much has been betrayed by his own body, stealing years from a man who certainly earned the right to enjoy the twilight of his life.

It's that truth of human frailty, manifested in someone so focused on perfection in all things, that truly gives me pause tonight. It takes my breath away. It's just so sad.

I've disagreed with Steve Jobs more times than I care to count, but those disagreements were all with the awareness that Jobs brought something special and unique to the American dream.

Steve Jobs didn't just bring Apple computers, music players, and phones to the world. What Steve Jobs brought was elegance, discipline, crisp design, and a forceful sense of right and wrong.

Steve knew. He just knew what he wanted. He knew what would be right and what would have been right for any other technology executive, but wouldn't meet his standards.

Steve set the bar. It's not just that Apple eventually became a towering success, and not even that other technology vendors followed his lead. It's that Steve set the bar for excellence in product design and execution.

Steve revolutionized not just one industry, but many. He up-ended the PC business. He transformed the music business. Through Pixar as well as Apple, he fundamentally transformed much of movie making as well as movie distribution. He so totally altered the phone business that the entire Internet came to a screeching halt yesterday to just find out about the new iPhone.

America has often set its self-identity by standing on the shoulders of innovative giants. There was Henry Ford. There was Thomas Edison. There was John D. Rockefeller. There was William Randolph Hearst.

And then, then there was Steve Jobs.

There won't ever be one more "One more thing."

Goodbye, Steve.

Other remembrances:

Topics: Telcos, Apple

About

David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

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25 comments
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  • RE: One more thing. Remembering Steve Jobs.

    Amen.
    MontDeska
  • RE: One more thing. Remembering Steve Jobs.

    Never met Jobs, nor met anyone who did, yet he shaped my career, interests, creativity, stock portfolio, and sense of possibilities more than almost anyone.

    I bought a used first-gen 128K Mac in 1985 to do my master's thesis, and I've never looked back. I spent many years in cubicles using Windows products, but only when somebody was willing to pay me to use Windows; never by choice.

    Jobs'/Apple's visionary products empowered me to break free of those shackles and do the same work, independently, in a space (home!) and with the tools (Mac/Apple!) I chose. I am happier and I make more money this way. Separate and apart from the innumerable benefits Jobs brought to the many industries he touched and transformed, he made my life broader, more personally innovative, and financially remunerative.

    We are all living on borrowed time. Wish Steve could have extended his line of credit.
    d4sherpadoug
    • RE: One more thing. Remembering Steve Jobs.

      @d4sherpadoug get a life
      markbn
    • RE: One more thing. Remembering Steve Jobs.

      @d4sherpadoug - in a free world, no one would influence another.

      Ayn Rand must be having a good chat with Steve Jobs right now...
      HypnoToad72
      • In a free world...

        @HypnoToad72 <br>...people would influence each other to the extent that they want to be influenced. No more, no less.

        Edit: But the only way that can happen is through voluntary self restraint. We're social beings. Always have been. Always will be.
        John L. Ries
      • RE: One more thing. Remembering Steve Jobs.

        @HypnoToad72

        Ironic post, is well ironic - given that it appears you were influenced by Ayn...

        Influence takes many forms, from sage advice, role models to emulate, friends, enemies, etc.

        Do not confuse influence with coercion. Coercion has no place in a free world.
        woot!
    • RE: One more thing. Remembering Steve Jobs.

      @d4sherpadoug
      Mr. Jobs was a human being. To equate him to Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and a few others is unfair. When we as a nation full of unemployed, disgruntled, and jaded find solutions in turning this Republic around, then we can go play with the toys that Jobs et al have come up with.
      We didn't always have a iANYTHING. When you're losing your home to a toxic mortgage, or you've been pink slipped at work, and your friendly bank decides that you have to pay more, it's hard to find any relevance with entertainment devices.
      We did perfectly fine without cellular telephones, .mp3 players, tablets, MAC's or any of the other ' toys ' that the world amuses itself with.
      Rest In Peace Mr. Jobs, you will be missed by some, but not all.
      Kaptah
      • RE: One more thing. Remembering Steve Jobs.

        @Kaptah Yes, you are right, we need a genius like Steve Jobs as the head of Treasury, another one as head of Fed and may be yet another one to control the Govt Policies. But in the context of his field of work, i cant see anything wrong in equating Jobs with Henry Ford and the likes.
        manojvk80@...
      • RE: One more thing. Remembering Steve Jobs.

        @Kaptah There were unemployed, disgruntled, and jaded during the times of Ford, Edison, and others.

        Don't blame Jobs for cellular telephones, .mp3 players, tablets, and computers. He didn't invent them.

        It's too bad he couldn't have made a device to create compassion and sympathy, you could have used it before writing such vitriol.
        hammeroftruth
      • He was human, indeed.

        @Kaptah - I don't wish to be insensitive, but there really are a lot of folks who treated Steve Jobs (and now his memory) as if he were a great and wonderful person. I think it is certainly appropriate to recognize that he was _one of_ the folks at Apple who came up with some pretty neat ideas, but please don't act like he wasn't also a ruthless bigot. He was a flawed person just like you or me; he was just higher up in the corporate world than most of us. The issue I have isn't with Jobs, but with his throng of worshipers.
        SenorAlejandro
      • ya know

        @Kaptah <br>this fight will still exist in a few days. <br>you can't manage some silence for a few days? just let it alone for awhile? no? <br>if you can't manage a bit of civility then how about something simple, like silence?
        oneleft
      • The toys are nice...

        @Kaptah <br>...but the most important parts of Steve Jobs' legacy are the personal computer and the graphical user interface (both now ubiquitous). He didn't invent either one, but he and Apple played key roles in popularizing both (in much the way that Henry Ford popularized, but did not invent the automobile).

        Response to SenorAlejandro:

        Yes, Mr. Jobs was flawed, just like the rest of us, and I don't regard him as superhuman, much less divine, but his achievements are undoubted and worthy of respect.

        His career was definitely not a simple case of climbing the corporate ladder higher than the rest of us, or of being in the right place at the right time.
        John L. Ries
  • Thanks; really dignified writing

    In the memory of Steven Jobs.
    DDERSSS
  • Connecting the dots.

    In the past few minutes, I researched the ideas that will compose this comment from my iPad, which is only fitting because Steve thought that this last "one more thing" would be his greatest accomplishment. (It will be.)

    Thanks to TechCrunch, I was able to read and view Steve's 2005 Stanford Commencement Address, something which I have never experienced before.

    In that speech, Steve tells three stories and, as he said, they were "no big deal". The first story, he said, was "about connecting the dots."

    Steve's curiosity lead him to Reed College and, in his own words, "Reed college at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtile in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating."

    Connect the dots.

    And then view the latest iPad TV commercial, "Learn". One segment of that commercial shows calligraphy being created on the iPad.

    And then, look at all the other segments of that commercial. About music, about science, about the joys of learning.

    I never connected the dots before but this commercial was all about giving Steve one last loving homage to him and his creation. And to that, I say, well done, Apple. Well done.
    kenosha77a
  • I think you're wrong. I think he did enjoy the twilight of his life.

    He knew his days were numbered long long ago. He made more than he could ever spend. He could have walked away after the first ipod, or the first iphone, or before next or pixar, and seen and experienced the entire world like very few other people ever could for a decade or more. He chose not to. I'm going to believe he chose not to because there was nothing he loved doing more than doing what he did. Yesterdays lameness was stark proof that apple is not the same without him.
    Johnny Vegas
  • Good words, David.

    Guess he wasn't always the easiest guy to work for, but he did know what he wanted. The world could stand a few more perfectionists like him.
    Userama
    • RE: One more thing. Remembering Steve Jobs.

      @Userama - be careful what you wish for. YOU may get it. And you know you would not want to be on the receiving end. Like workers at Foxconn, Apple's favored factory...
      HypnoToad72
      • classy

        @HypnoToad72 <br>most people, most civilized people, know when to step back and say "no, now is not the time". you wouldn't be one of them.
        oneleft
  • RE: One more thing. Remembering Steve Jobs.

    I only knew him first and foremost because of that Pirates Of Silicon Valley movie my brother showed me. After that I went into software development.

    Him and Gates were the best.
    TheFilipinoFlash
    • RE: One more thing. Remembering Steve Jobs.

      @TheFilipinoFlash - they were marketers and exploiters. I lack the time to give a full history lesson, but while they are not entirely bad people they did exploit for their own personal gain.

      They are a tad overrated.
      HypnoToad72