These are Steve Jobs‘ words concluding his 2005 Stanford Commencement speech. He addresses the audience of students graduating from Stanford that year and shares quite a wealth of personal insights gained from his remarkable, but anything but straightforward career at Apple Inc. and NeXT Computer. His speech revolves around themes of how he found direction in life and he extends his personal findings with the all alert audience. I was going to use this quote as the beginning of what I believed to be my personal obituary on Mr. Job’s passing on the evening of October 5, 2011. But then, I found that I’ve already reflected upon how my past professional life is intertwined with Apple Inc. and I also found that there wasn’t too much more that I could add to that. My feelings towards Apple, their CEO and the products were always divided, in particular for what little became known about his management style prior to being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. And while I am genuinely saddened over his passing, thinking about how much pain he must have dealt with, how much pain his family is now dealing with and how it also reminds me of my own mortality not being all that far away – and quite brutally so -, at the same time those divided feelings remain – and probably even more so, because I realized how much I myself am and was influenced by Mr. Job’s legacy, in particular the design of their products, and how it shaped my preference towards uncluttered, simple, elegant objects. I can’t say that my lifestyle really reflects that, but whenever I look at products, furniture, architecture and there is too much detail or playfulness about them, I tend to reject them. The less detail, the better.
Reports abound left and right about how Steve Jobs prepared the company for the transition period in the event of his passing. To me – Apple will not be the same without him. R.I.P., Mr. Jobs.
Jason Snell, Macworld writer, arrives at a different conclusion re: Apple’s future. And here’s two articles that explain well to me, why I had split feelings about Apple’s iconic boss. First, Gene Marks for Forbes, who elaborates on his quite provocative headline. And second Dan Palotta for Harvard Business Review, who explains in which way he sees Steve Jobs as a Philanthropist, despite him factually ending all philanthropy programs when returning to Apple in 1997.