6.2 Homage to heroes, helpers, and mentors. Steve Jobs

I stopped in at a library yesterday and came upon a meeting of Macintosh users.  They were showing a video of Stephen Jobs’ commencement address at Stanford. 

Jobs is one of my heroes. 

Twenty-eight years ago the Macintosh graphic user interface made it possible for me to start using a computer–the most important tool of our times—without having to learn a lot of nerdy keyboard language

In 1984, he lost a power struggle with his board of directors and lost his job at Apple.  A few months later he started another computer company. NeXT.  Twelve years later Apple bought NeXT, and Steve got his old job back.

A couple of years ago, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer—one of the nastiest characters you could ever meet.  A biopsy revealed it was a rare form that was operable. 

In his speech at Stanford he shared what he learned from the trajectories and crashes in his life.

“Death is a destination we all share. . . . Remembering you are going to die helps you remember you have nothing to lose.”

Of all his comments my favorite is one: “There is a the lightness of being a beginner again.”  — which explains why the last year has been one of the best of my life.

Last week Steve Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple.

Steve, if you are reading this, think about a Year on the Road.


11 Responses to 6.2 Homage to heroes, helpers, and mentors. Steve Jobs

  1. Debby Frisch says:

    Dear Al,
    I agree with you on this. Steve has been the Michaelangelo of his time, opening our eyes and ears and minds to so much.

  2. Michael says:

    I recall one statement from that speech: “You can only connect the dots backwards.”

    The graphics on the mac resulted from his attending Reid College for awhile without enrolling and paying tuition to make it easier on his parents. He went to classes he liked. Calligraphy was a favorite, and that was inspiration for the graphics ability on the mac. But it only made sense connecting the dots backwards.

  3. Colleen Rae says:

    A great visionary. His name should be spoken in the same sentence with Thomas Edison.

  4. Alan stowell says:

    Stay Hungry, stay foolish!
    My favorite Jobs quote!
    Isn’t that what we always did?
    And I am in Pachuca, Mexico teaching english!

    • allevenson says:

      “Stay hungry, stay foolish” is a great line which Jobs used in the Stanford commencement address. He cited the source, the back cover of Stuart Brands’ last Whole Earth Catalog in 1974.

  5. karen wittgraf says:

    Don’t you agree that we find ourselves far too late? Once, reaching 60, an enlightenment happens and it’s such a relief..not having to prove yourself to anyone. My mother was a wise Irish lady (not college educated) that called shots as they were. I still hear her voice lamenting that “It’s bad enough to get old, you shouldn’t have to get homely too”. Such wisdom!!!

  6. This man saved our country, when you think of it.

  7. David Bauer says:

    As they say it in the Pennsylvania Dutch country of Berks County, PA where I grew up, We get too soon old, and too late smart.

  8. david says:

    Great responses to this Al. Congrats on great subject matter. After 35 years I spent in High Tech and Areospace, (Graduated in Computers in 74) I have seen many changes in computers take place. I used punch cards and tape through the 70’s. Many programmers who were artists and not Accounting oriented types watched as the rug was pulled from under them. What I’m saying is as memory got cheaper Packages of Source Code created a “paint by number process”. This took away the ability to Operating Systems specific to the problem at hand. Unintelligent systems replaced creativity and created one system that fit all. To understand this you have to have been there as an artist and a programmer. The same process is at work on authors now. If he was a “Michaelangelo of his time” we would never have had great ART. I am sorry but in my book he is no HERO or Edison. The comparison is absurd. Admire him as a MAN who never gives up that is a quality to admire.

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