The world has lost a truly great man and visionary but lets not be too saddened by his death lets celebrate the life of an amazing man. He changed the world in many ways from personal and business computing, personal music, portable computing and perhaps the most pervasive way, in making us expect product design to be brilliant, all products. Apple is the benchmark of design standard to the point where we now judge things on how ‘Apple’ like they are.
He had failures with things like the Newton and huge successes with the Apple IIe and even had to leave the company before coming back to even higher greatness but he has shown what can be achieved with a single mind and a burning desire. In his early days he was more petulant child than purist genius and was even known as the enfant terrible. It is incredible what a different lens or focus on things has, as I cannot believe he truly changed his enfent terrible ways just that people got used to them and more importantly the results he brought.
A great insight into how he lived is live was given in his speech to Stanford University in 2005, not long after he had been diagnosed with the cancer that killed him.
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”