As I gather my things to fly to Hong Kong to speak at a conference in China, I’m abandoning my planned blog to pay tribute to Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, inspirer of innovation, genius, entrepreneur, lifestyle, entertainment and IT guru and loving family man. A legend I’ve grown up with, alongside so many different areas of my life, as have so many others. He affected us on so many different levels: productivity, entertainment, music, social habits, technically — I remember delivery of my first Mac years ago and my newest one, just eight weeks ago. A brand new Mac is still a beautiful thing!
But back to today, when the world is paying tribute to Jobs. As of a few hours ago, internet users have broken world records as Twitter has jammed with tweets marked #iSad and #ThankYouSteve as the world takes to online mediums to pay tribute. Tributes flooded Facebook’s news streams on Wednesday night, swiftly spreading the news of his passing surrounded by family from pancreatic cancer.
By 9.30am on Thursday, social search engine Topsy estimated that 2.8 million Tweets had been posted on Twitter about Steve. Twitter’s official search listed #iSad, #ThankYouSteve, Steve Jobs’s and two of Jobs’s well-known catch phrases — “Think Different” and “Stay Hungry” — among its top trending searches. Other top search terms included the name of the city where Apple is based, Cupertino, and the folk singer Jobs reportedly dated, Joan Baez.
Steven Paul “Steve” Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) is undoubtedly one of the two most famous American computer entrepreneurs and inventors. As chairman of the board of Apple, which he co-founded in 1976, he pioneered the first Apple Mac computer, taking the company through highs, then lows and back to the all-time high with the release of the iPhone. From the famous photos of the first Mac to the purchase of Pixar, to the re-birth of Apple to become the leading consumer technology company in the world with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, family of iPod media players, iTunes media store and iLife and iWork application suites. He transcends generations. He has touched so many.
As well as Apple, Steve also co-founded and was the CEO of Pixar Animation Studios, which created some of the most successful and beloved animated films of all time including Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars and Ratatouille. Pixar merged with The Walt Disney Company in 2006 — how much fun did he have!
My son asked tonight where did the name “Apple” come from. Well Steve grew up in the apricot orchards which later became known as Silicon Valley, and was still living there with his family. As he explained in an earlier interview, “My parents moved from San Francisco to Mountain View when I was five. My dad got transferred and that was right in the heart of Silicon Valley so there were engineers all around. Silicon Valley for the most part at that time was still orchards — apricot orchards and prune orchards — and it was really paradise. I remember the air being crystal clear, where you could see from one end of the valley to the other.”
His last board letter was poignant
August 24, 2011 06:34 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Letter from Steve Jobs
CUPERTINO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:
I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.
I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.
As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.
I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.
I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.
His Stanford University commencement speech, Steve’s Stanford Commencement Address , is still one of the most powerful entrepreneurial speeches I’ve heard. Jobs said, amongst other things, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”
Steve Jobs, may you rest in peace.