Steve Jobs died tonight. Immediately after news of his death hit the Internet, tweets, Facebook messages, websites and broadcasts paid tribute to the visionary behind Apple, Inc. Apple-enthusiasts recalled inspiring quotes from Jobs and posted them online. Fans gathered outside the famous Apple store on New York City’s Fifth Avenue. Mourners wrote messages in front of his Palo Alto, Calif. home.
I wasn’t alive when Elvis died, but I think the immense outpouring of love from the public, Jobs’ contemporaries and even President Obama, must resemble the response to the death of The King of Rock and Roll. Now, 34 years later, the fans cry for a geek—a geek who changed the world. Yesterday, roughly 24 hours before Jobs’ death, a journalist reporting on Apple’s new iPhone announcement even compared Jobs to Elvis.
Jobs’ technological inventions altered our culture more than Elvis ever did. The iPod (and iTunes) revolutionized the way we listen and react to music and the music industry itself. Of course, he was more than just i-products, as evident by the many tributes and comments online. He was creative. He was a family man. He was a hard-worker. He never quit. He always strived for better. He was an inspiration.
He taught us to “think different.”
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. … Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”
– Steve Jobs