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Steve Jobs — An Icon for Change

Business Steve Jobs Creativity Vision

The wave is spreadingbusiness steve jobs creativity vision outward from Silicon Valley. Naturally, those of us mainlining Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn were the first to hear the news: Steve Jobs has died.

The wave is spreading outward from Silicon Valley. Naturally, those of us mainlining Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn were the first to hear the news: Steve Jobs has died.

Whoa! Really? I knew he’d had cancer, but Steve Jobs? Dead?

I’m not one who lives and breathes tech news. Computers and smart phones are just something I use. They don’t define me. Throughout my technology-enhanced life, though, Steve Jobs has been a constant. He revolutionized the personal computer with the Apple II. Then he did it in a huge way with the Macintosh in 1984. Ever see the commercial they put out to introduce it? (If not, it’s below.) The Apple team executed it perfectly, even down to introducing it in the correct year!

You may never have used a Macintosh computer or any other Apple product; still, you’ve been affected by Steve Jobs. His vision pushed the technology industry forward. When the Apple board of directors gave him the boot, he continued to spread his vision of a powerful, intuitive computing experience with the NeXT workstations.

If all you’ve ever used is the Windows operating system, you’re swimming in Steve Jobs’s pool. For those of us old enough to remember, Microsoft tried to copy the Mac and its GUI (graphical user interface), but the early versions of Windows were pathetic. It wasn’t until Windows 95 that PCs became somewhat useable. The joke back then was that Windows 95 was Mac ’84.

His greatest gift, though, wasn’t the technology. It was his vision. As I go about my day-to-day business running Energy Vanguard, I occasionally think of something he said or how I might apply his type of vision to the field of building science and high performance homes. Heaven knows we need it.

I recently wrote an article called Why Can’t Every New Home Be a High Performance Home? I think it was something I’d recently read about Jobs combined with my frustration about the construction industry that inspired that piece.

Jobs was truly an inspiration, not just for those working in the tech field but anyone who’s trying to bring about change in their field (as we do here with this blog). To give you a feel for his brilliance, here are a few choice quotes from the Master:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.”

“We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them.”

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.”

“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.”

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

Steve Jobs may be dead, but his legacy lives on.



Photo by acaben from, used under a Creative Commons license.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Thanks, Allison… these
    Thanks, Allison… these quotes have focused my mind and recharged my batteries. I am going to have a great day living my life today.

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