Steve Jobs saw ways to connect people and realized that that was the best thing he could do with his time and his intellect . . . find ways to connect us to the ones we love, we trust, we cherish. Sure, he may have also thought about the money to be made . . . but he saw that the human spirit is creative and desires to be connected.
We, the human race, desire to create expressions of our love, our despair, our anger, our joy, our ideas, and our dreams. We desire to be connected to those we love, those we create with, and to challenge those with disagree with. We desire to share our experiences, good, bad, and inane. Steve Jobs found ways to provide us with tools to do all of those things.
First, and foremost, I think his desire was to help us connect to each other, share in each others triumphs and struggles no matter where we are in the world . . . even when we don’t know each other. I am reminded of @acarvin’s (Andy Carvin from NPR) work during this year’s uprisings in the Middle East. He was able to funnel real time, real emotion, real experience information to the world via Twitter – I don’t know if he used an iPhone, MacBook, or other Apple tool – but even if he used an Android enabled tool, the influence of connecting the world of the Egyptian uprising to the Populist protests in Madison, Wisconsin happened because of Steve Job’s influence and foresight over many years of innovative exercise.
The detractors may point to the ways in which the technology he oversaw (and at times all technology) have been used to do things unethical, immoral, or just plain stupid . . . but the ways in which the technology he helped develop have connected us and changed the world in positive ways far surpass any negatives.
His vision is essential to anything that the technology community does from this point forward. His spirit, insight, innovative desire are the things dreams are made of. There will be many amazing innovations in the years ahead, but they really have their energy in the things Steve Jobs has done since he co-founded Apple. At once, it is a day to feel a sadness, that an American who truly exemplified the things this country should hold dear – innovation, creativity, integrity, humanity, and a desire to make the world a better place – has passed away and a day to look forward with optimism to the possibilities his spirit has come to emblemize.
Legacy defines your time on earth. It may be big, it may be small. But, the question is always . . . did you leave this world a better place for your time here or not. This time the answer is clear.