“The glories of our blood and state/Are shadows, not substantial things;/There is no armour against Fate;/Death lays his icy hand on kings:’/Sceptre and Crown/Must tumble down,” composed James Shirley in Death the Leveller. Death has spared no one, the mighty and the poor, the visionary and the commoner, and today we stand to witness the passing away of an iconic entrepreneur who sought to change the world and make a dent in the universe. What Steve Jobs gave this world traversing three worlds of computing, telecommunications and music is unparalleled in its depth and substantive and life-changing in its contribution.
Steve Jobs (1955–2011) is considered an iCon by many standards. He is a visionary, greatest marketer the world has ever seen, and the passionate product engineer followed and revered by millions of techie and non-techie souls. The “pull” was incredible and Steve didn’t have to sell. He just has to give a keynote. Whatever he developed and sold was waiting to be consumed for the sheer perfection of a product. He is a path maker and innovator who found new vistas in all he did.
For the entrepreneur community, Steve was an ultimate entrepreneur. No other entrepreneur would ever in the present generation have the chutzpah to dare and make a lasting change. Maniacal for perfection to the core, he simply transformed and changed the world with which dream every entrepreneur sets out. If putting PC on every desk was what Mac computers started with, Pixar Studios made the world’s first animation movie that was a grosser at the box office. Fired from his own company, Steve returned to thumping roar as the iSeries -- iPod, iPhone, iPad -- created magic at the market for the struggling Apple Corporation. With touch functionality, he just touched the iconic status, with no peers to be counted along. The second coming of Steve Jobs is as eventful and as inspiring as his first one. Parallels stand to shame if one were to visit history of people who returned to a company and created history. He just touched the imagination, kindled it, fuelled it, and grew it into a wild fire in many souls and the rebellious vision to make a dent in the universe found a chord in many that owning an Apple gadget for them meant buying Steve’s maniacal innovation.
It will look like a dream. “Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as [Gandhi] ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth,” wrote Einstein about Mahatma Gandhi on his death. Tributes and glorious recollections will pour in not only from the people Steve interacted with but with millions of his fans with whom he struck a chord and created an emotional appeal. Thunderous applause at his keynote is a testimony to the crazy fan following he had. Increasingly, the world will realize there will be none other than Steve Jobs.
There will be hardly be anyone in our generation to inspire like Steve Jobs did, the possibilities and the extending boundaries of innovation he showed, the kind of life he lived as a person, a completely transformed one at that when he started his second reign at Apple as CEO, a God-like following he commanded from his peers and commoners alike, and words will fail and vocabulary lacking in describing a phenomenon that Steve was.
At 56, death shouldn’t have called on Steve. But he bravely fought his disease and quit gracefully as Apple CEO. We knew he wasn’t well and little did we imagine he will leave us for ever. Sadness is a small word to describe his loss. His void will be felt tellingly every time you use your iPhone, iPod, or iPad. If a person is commanding tears from millions at his passing, he has achieved what he set out with -- change the world. We’ll miss you Steve, this time for ever!
–Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy, chief evangelist