Where were you when you found out that Steve Jobs passed away? I was on a plane on my way to Milwaukee to deliver a keynote for Wennsoft's customer conference. Just as I was about to turn my iPhone off, my WSJ alert came in "WSJ NEWS ALERT: Apple Says That Steve Jobs Has Died." I could not believe it. Then a minute later, my NY Times alert came in with the same message. Stunned, I turned off my iPhone. I felt like a hole had just opened up in my heart. I cried quietly as the plane took off. Yes, I knew he was ill. Yes, I knew that he was doing poorly when he resigned from his CEO position at Apple. But I still felt totally unprepared to hear about his passing. Steve said in his famous Stanford University Commencement Address "Nobody wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there." When one person makes such a huge impact and contribution to the world, nobody wants him to die.
There is really not much more that I can say about how Steve Jobs positively changed our world many times over. Great and more famous people have already paid wonderful tribute to Steve, all the way up to President Obama. I can only say that Steve started changing my life back in 1984 with the Mac, and has not stopped changing my life for the better, even with his passing. He continues to change my life after he is gone with the legacy that he has built at Apple. My friends tell me that I am an Apple Fan. But really… I am not really an Apple fan. I am really a Steve Jobs fan. I will now learn how to be an Apple fan.
My friend and business partner, Verne Harnish, wrote a wonderful blog yesterday (Oct 6, 2011) titled "Remembering I'll Be Dead Soon -- Steve Jobs, 1955 - 2011." Thank you, Verne, for the suggestion of watching Steve's Stanford Commencement Address. Joy, Nicole, Pei-Yee and I will gather around my iPad and watch this wonderful speech again.
One last thing… Why do we celebrate Columbus Day? I don't get it. Columbus did not even discover North America and he killed a lot of people. So in my house, from now on, we are changing Columbus Day to Steve Jobs Day. Steve really led us into the new frontier of technology, discovering the brave new world of PCs, iPods, iPhones, iPads, iCloud… So every Steve Jobs Day we will remember what Steve has done for the world and for our personal lives.
Thank you, Steve, for touching my life and my family's lives, changing us forever, helping us build our own memories with all the inventions that you gave the world. All 313 of them (Steve had 313 patents).