In 1962, Arthur Clarke wrote that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
Magic: That’s what Steve Jobs gave the world. He had the vision to not only develop dazzlingly advanced technology—but to also make it sleek and elegant and a joy to use. And in the process, Steve Jobs changed the world.
Millions of words have been written about Steve Jobs over the years, I’m sure. But the words that most spoke to me this morning were his own, taken from his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University:
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. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.
Some people will remember Steve Jobs as a gifted programmer, a brilliant marketer, or a driven businessman. I will remember him as a magician—a wizard whose technology really is indistinguishable from magic.
To read more: Visit BBC.com’s wonderful retrospective of his life and the New York Times’ engaging interactive timeline. Prefer to write your own tribute? Go to http://www.apple.com and click on Steve’s image.