When Steve Jobs died, I decided not to write anything. There wasn’t much I could say about Steve, having never met the man and knowing little about him as a person. Yet, like most of us who have dedicated our lives to advancing technology, I felt a strange affinity for him. I read the outpouring of anecdotes, watched countless product intro’s and interviews on YouTube, and even read his official biography by Walter Isaacson (which was excellent, by the way).
Even after absorbing all I could, I found myself at a loss for words. The problem with saying something profound about Steve Jobs is that, no matter what you might say, Steve has probably said it already himself…and said it more eloquently.
My homage to Steve is therefore in his own words, not mine. The following is an excerpt from an old interview:
I read a study that measured the efficiency of locomotion for various species on the planet. The condor used the least energy to move a kilometer. Humans came in with a rather unimpressive showing about a third of the way down the list….That didn’t look so good, but then someone at Scientific American had the insight to test the efficiency of locomotion for a man on a bicycle, and a man on a bicycle blew the condor away.
That’s what a computer is to me: the computer is the most remarkable tool that we’ve ever come up with. It’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.
Steve Jobs reminded us of our ability to improve the human condition with technology. That very ability to innovate, in fact, is what I believe makes us human. The world we live in is scary and uncertain, so the greatest legacy Steve left behind is proof that we possess the gift (perhaps individually, definitely collectively) to create new tools that move humanity forward.
Thanks for all you gave us, Steve. We deeply appreciate your time with us.