Steve Jobs … One of Us, but Different

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By David Henderson, co-founder, BoomerCafé™

Steve Jobs once said:

Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Jobs was one of us. He was a baby boomer, just like the past few presidents, Bill Gates, and many other leaders in the digital era and captains of industry … and just like many of us, in some respects.

Let us not forget that America’s largest demographic group – baby boomers – has reshaped the country for better or worse. But Jobs was different. He was unlike any of his peers in technology or corporate America.

While others in technology were and still are caught up in the machinations of tech stuff, Jobs knew that the only thing that really mattered was how we might perceive and value his innovations. He dreamed, questioned, challenged himself and others … and gave the country and the world good things intended to bring value to our lives.

Jobs said, “A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets.”

Many of us learned of his passing on one of his technology devices.

Jobs grew up in the pop culture of the San Francisco area and was shaped by the free-thinking liberalism dominant there in the 60s and 70s. He dated Joan Baez, tried LSD and kept emotional ties to the period in which he grew up. Viewed as a corporate outsider, he built Apple in the reflection of his unconventionality.

Jobs became wealthy through his inventions, ownership of Apple, Disney and Pixar. Yet, in today’s world defined by corporate greed and corruption, Jobs was again different. He focused on the idea of “taste.” It was a word he used often. Jobs crafted his genius and lasting legacy through the distinctive simplicity, elegance and taste he insisted on in every Apple product. And, his focus has changed the world for the better.

Addressing a graduating class at Stanford in 2005, Jobs seemed to foresee his own destiny:

“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.”

6 Comments

  1. He achieved so much and gave so much more. He will be missed. Life is neither fair or unfair, it is just life. What we make of it is what counts, and what we contribute to an ever advancing society. His contribution was immense.

  2. Yes, he was definitely one of us, a baby boomer. We baby boomers have contributed a great deal more than people realize to the World Wide Web. Steve Jobs and his vision will surely be missed. Thanks for the post. I love to follow this blog. I will also RT it on Twitter.

    David Goldman

  3. A beautiful piece David. You’ve captured his essence, his substance, his fabric.

    I must share one other tribute for Jobs that I read on Facebook and thought it to be fitting…

    iSad.

  4. . . . while my iPhone gently weeps. David, very nice tribute to this shining star Baby Boomer … THE most innovative of his highly innovative generation.

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