This is a television blog, so at first glance it might not make sense to eulogize Apple and Pixar CEO Steve Jobs. However, the mere fact that this is a blog and you’re reading this website on a computer or handheld device — possibly on one designed by Jobs — warrants mention of his passing. He was an absolute giant in making our world what it is. Over the last 30 years, he was the key force behind the Macintosh computer, the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad, and oh yeah he also ran Pixar, so thank him for all the Toy Story movies plus Up and Wall-E and Finding Nemo. Steve Jobs made me cry more in the last decade than all of my friends who died in Iraq.
If you’ve never seen it, watch Jobs’s 2005 commencement speech at Stanford above. The college dropout talks about his life as an adopted child, taking a calligraphy class that would shape the way every person in the first world uses a computer, being fired from the company he founded (and later saved), perseverance (“Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick”), and — most poignantly — the way looming death shaped his life.
No one wants to die, even people who want to go to Heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent; it clears out the old to make way for the new … Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
Jobs ran a business the way all businesses should be run: he hired the most talented people he could find, then he pushed them to their limits to create better work. That’s how innovation happens, and it’s how Steve Jobs changed the world. His death is a profound loss — an old that had no new to replace it.
[Essential reading: Wired's long but awesome obituary]