Steve Jobs, the technology innovator who created the Mac, iPod iPhone and iPad, died of pancreatic cancer on October 5, 2011. He was born in 1955 to unwed graduate students – they later married and had a daughter, novelist Mona Simpson, whom Steve met as an adult. He grew up an only child and, at an early age, his adoptive parents taught him to read and nurtured his keen interest in electronics.
He dropped out of Reed College after his first semester because he didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life. But over the next 18 months he continued to audit classes that appealed to him. Apple, his first business venture, was started with a friend in his garage. And curious about Eastern philosophy and Buddhism, Jobs went on a spiritual journey to India. He was a private man but we do know that these are some events that shaped his destiny. They may seem like a nightmare for empty nester parents, but a testament to what can happen when creativity, curiosity, and love for our passion lead the way.
Of course, Steve was human. He was fired as CEO of Apple and denied paternity of his first child but later named a computer, Lisa, after her. Employees have described him as temperamental and controlling. Although some say he had a critical management style, he was greatly respected for his business acumen. And he had an almost mystical ability to predict where trends were headed and what people wanted. Just think about the influence he’s had on the way we live, work and play today.
Steve Jobs changed the way we relate to the world – how we see it and how we move in it. He modeled skills that we can all aspire to and there are lessons that apply to all of us:
• When you make promises, be sure to deliver.
• There can be success in failure.
• Under increasing skepticism, believe in a little magic.
• Unleash your creative voice and artistic expression.
• Encourage your kids to explore and ask questions.
• Make it safe to experience unabashed excitement.
• Change can be an opportunity for growth.
• Know that you can achieve personal greatness.
Steve Jobs left a legacy of straightforward designs that demystify technology. Haven’t we all, at one time or another, had a love affair with our computers? Of course, it’s vital to discover your passion. But let’s not live our full relational and emotional lives only online.