If you think telephones, music players and computers don’t really mean anything in the great scheme of things, well… I’m afraid you’re wrong.
But regardless, Apple’s roster of beautifully crafted, pioneering gadgets aren’t, in my opinion, what we should consider this week when we think of Steve Jobs’ passing.
The greatest thing we can take from his 56 years on Earth is that you don’t have to take shit from people.
There are numerous stories of employees being shot down by Jobs’ relentless belief that anything - when it comes to technological advances - is possible, and if you ever took the chance to send him an email (if you were one of the lucky few who got a reply) you’d probably be told that your complaint/observation/desire was, in fact, stupid.
This is because he was one of those rare people, who - when considering that time on this planet is very limited - could make his brain believe and act upon the idea that there’s nothing to lose by speaking your mind and by implementing what you think is the best possible decision.
A college dropout, who was also famously fired from Apple, Jobs told university graduates in 2005: “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”.
He urged people not to live their lives buried in dogma: “living with the results of other people's thinking.” Most of us have these ideologies when we’re students, but it gets eroded as we get our first jobs with hundreds of bosses ignoring us… when we look to put a modest roof over our heads and live a nice life; but Jobs is proof, even though it’s unlikely you or I will invent the next generation of smartphone, that we don’t have to settle for a boring life,
Yes, he was rich, reclusive, by accounts, hard to work with and if he met you, by all guesses, he probably wouldn’t like you, but he wanted to change the world, not be anyone’s mate, and he didn’t get walked over.
So, just for today, next time you get an email from someone you work with, even if… no, actually, especially if it’s your boss, put on a turtleneck sweater and reply with something along the lines of: “No, because you’re an idiot, and I’ve got something better to be doing”.
You may lose your job, but it could lead to something great.
T3 pays tribute to Steve Jobs as we rundown his greatest tech achievements.