Steve Jobs changed the world by challenging the status quo, believing in his vision, and living every day as though it were his last opportunity to leave his mark on the world. And in doing so, as with so many other great men and women who affect real change in the world, he has impacted the lives of billions – yes, billions – of human beings in a positive way. He has altered the technology industry forever, driving ideas otherwise relegated to science fiction into actual, tangible reality; and raising market expectations of computer and communication products to levels only distantly dreamed of by his competitors. He created for the purpose of creating, innovated for the purpose of innovating, and the success of his products’ marketing can be attributed as much to marketing the idea itself, the vision, the purpose – THIS is what appeals to the human mind – as to the genius and simplicity of the products.
The world of communications has been transformed. The music industry has been transformed. The computer industry has been transformed. The entrepreneurial world has been transformed – a whole new MARKET has been created that had not exited before (think of the extraordinary opportunity for programming innovators to create and market apps for every imaginable thing!) The world of education has been transformed, as much for children with mental disabilities as for anyone else.
My iPad does nearly everything, and could do a billion things more with apps. It weighs practically nothing, has got two buttons, and powers on in less than 30 seconds, but I never even have to turn it off. Ever. It never crashes, and I only plug it in once or twice a week. I can write on it. I can shop and purchase on it. I can sell on it. I can research on it. I can write on it. I can photograph with it. I can take video with it. I can live video-conference with it. I can make presentations with it, zooming in on an item for impact or isolation. I can use it as calculator, a currency or measurement converter, a level, an email application, an expense tracker, an itinerary, a scheduler, an interactive map, a social networking application, a cookbook, a cocktail recipe, a campsite reservation, an event planner, an event finder, a wine pairing expert, a book, a telephone directory, a dictionary, a legal reference, a dictation tool, a movie and television theater, listen to my entire audio library, publish a blog post, draw, play a million games, point it to the sky and have it tell me what start or constellation I am looking at. And I haven’t yet spent a single penny on an app. And every app I’ve installed has taken less than two minutes to download and install, and is immediately ready to be used.
I don’t know whether the “i” in the iProducts represents “idea-RESULT,” or whether it represents the genesis of an idea – the human mind, a person – and its actions; in other words, the flowing out from a center of a humble being (lowercase “i”) and into the thing it created for the world (the product and its impact). Either one is a fascinating thing to think about. But in either case, they had their genesis in Steve Jobs and the teams of innovators he surrounded himself with who shared the vision to create a tangible reality out of an intangible idea. And that tangible reality has literally changed the planet – whether you own an iProduct and realize it, or you don’t.
Steve Jobs’ life demonstrates, in more ways than one, the Butterfly Effect. In the ways just mentioned, it’s pretty obvious. And for everything he brought into the world, I, for one, will be eternally grateful. And I will also be eternally grateful that Joanne Simpson, who could never have known what kind of impact he could have on the world, as no parents ever can, gave him the gift of life, rather than taking it away. And to Paul and Clara Jobs for opening their hearts and homes to a child’s life. Another set of independently-made decisions, when you understand the Butterfly Effect, that significantly mattered.
There is so much potential in every human life.
Thank you, for everything, Steve. And may you rest in Peace.