Fast Company

Steve Jobs: A Mega, Meta Appreciation

Everything that needs to be said of Steve Jobs has already been written. Here's the most meta version of the story you will read online, offline, and everywhere else.

No Apple @ MacWorld?

If you read only one story about Steve Jobs today (yeah, right) make it this one. Why? Because his story has already been written--over and over and over again, as the link explosion below makes clear. Also, this will save you a lot of time.

I knew the day would come when Steve Jobs would retire... but I didn’t expect to cry. We could all see this was coming--but it is a shock. The resignation of Apple Inc.'s chief executive Steve Jobs marks the end of an era. He was that rarest of birds: a C.E.O. who actually had a huge impact on his company’s fortunes... [and] genuinely earned the label of superstar. Jobs is often identified as the singular face of Apple--the man who is the energy and creative spirit behind the company. But Apple is much more than just Steve Jobs. With tens of billions of cash on hand, products that sell out as fast as they can be produced, and an ecosystem that continues to expand, the company’s future footing is solid. Indeed, Steve Jobs's greatest creation may be new Apple CEO Tim Cook. Yet throughout the tech industry... people are in shock. Those who are Apple's most devoted fans and users are struggling to decide if they should hold on to their faith in the company. With this news, some may cry that the “sky is falling,” believing that Steve and only Steve holds the magic of Apple innovation. Not so much.

The man whose insistent vision that he knew what consumers wanted made Apple one of the world's most valuable and influential companies has oft been described as a genius, hero, entrepreneur, technologist and visionary, a master inventor, master marketer, an American business magnate, Silicon Valley's rock star CEO, the driving force behind a string of products that revolutionized the consumer-electronics industry. But he could also be a mean, mean man, a risk-taking, short-tempered tyrant, who "made people feel terrible; he made people cry" and was notorious for his... erratic behavior and poor attitude. But because Steve Jobs is a design perfectionist who thinks different, these foibles were accepted as a small price to pay as long as he remained a creative genius [who] propelled his company Apple into the most iconic technology brand in the world and who reshaped Silicon Valley in his own image. While there were flops among the pops... products created under his direction that failed commercially or functionally, the dropout [turned] living legend--a master of hype, hyperbole and the catchy phrase--leaves a glittering legacy.

Because nobody's changed the world as well as Jobs. While his resignation as chief executive officer of Apple is the end of an extraordinary era, not just for Apple, but for the global technology industry in general, we should note his very own words, because they reveal what drives this inscrutable man: "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."

Thank you, Steve. For all you've done, for all of us.

 

Sources:

1. Mike Lee, Mur.mu.rs
2. John Gruber, Daring Fireball
3. Gerry Smith, The Huffington Post
4. James Surowowieki, The New Yorker
5. Mark Milian, CNN
6. Christina Warren, Mashable
7. Nicholas Jackson, The Atlantic
8. Daniel Terdiman, CNET
9. David Morgenstern, ZDNet
10. David Streitfeld, The New York Times
11. Daniel Gross, Yahoo! Finance
12. Elinor Mills, CNET
13. John Gapper, Financial Times
14. Jordan Robertson, Techland
15. Wikipedia
16. Mercury News
17. Walter Hamilton, Los Angeles Times
18. John Biggs, TechCrunch
19. Kevin Spak, Newser
20. Deeply Thinking
21. CNN Money
22. Peter Burrows, Businessweek
23. John-Paul Ford Rojas, Telegraph
24. Chris O'Brien, Mercury News
25. Associated Press
26. The Economic Times
27. Larry Dignan, ZDNet
28. The Washington Post
29. Walt Mossberg, All Things D
30. Macworld
31. Steve Jobs's 2005 Stanford Commencement Address, reprinted in The Wall Street Journal
32. David Gewirtz, ZDNet


Check out Design Crazy: Good Looks, Hot Tempers, and True Genius at Apple, our captivating oral history of the company that "taught the world taste." The ebook is available through Apple, Amazon and Byliner.

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