“Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything.” That’s a quote from Steve Jobs when he announced the iPhone back in early 2007. It was the third time he had revolutionized a piece of technology and most certainly would not be his last.
People call him the “Edison of our time,” a “genius,” a “true visionary,” some are even calling him “God.” To me, he was an inspiration, someone who, until last Wednesday, would not even let death stop him from doing what he loved — making technology that not only changed the way we do things, but also changed the way we view the world. Here was a man who, back in 2004, was told by doctors that he had just three to six months to live. Imagine if they were right. Phones would still have clunky keyboards and tiny screens, and “apps” would be an unknown word. Tablets would still be those awkward laptops with the screens that twisted and folded down (gasp!), and “pinching to zoom” would be a foreign concept.
Now, you could argue that others had invented some of these technologies, or that Jobs had these products in the pipeline way before his death. Truth is, no could sell them like El Jobso. Apple is, and always has been, the only company whose product announcements I follow with absolute scrutiny and excitement. Every keynote, every “one more thing,” is like unwrapping that last gift during the holidays. Each time he unearths the next great iDevice from underneath the sleek black clothes onstage, my heart jumps a beat. Each time Jobs showed the world his next creation, a wide grin appeared across his face like a proud father holding his newborn son.
What I truly admire about Steve Jobs is his perseverance. In 1985, he was kicked out of his own company, one that he built just 10 years earlier in his parent’s garage. Instead of throwing in the towel and calling it quits, he immediately went on to start another computer company, “NeXT,” and bought Pixar Animation Studios, which would later go on to make some amazing movies which I think we all know and love. Skip ahead a decade — Apple stock is worth a mere $6 a share when Apple buys NeXT, bringing Jobs back “home.” Today, Apple stock goes for roughly $380 a share.
His perseverance was more than just green arrows on the NASDAQ. It was showing the world that if you have a passion and a vision, and you really believe in yourself, absolutely no one can stop you from “making a dent in the universe,” as Jobs once said. As a senior, I take that to heart. As each day brings me one step closer to graduation, I aim to leave my mark at this great University, my own “universe,” in whatever way I can. Thank you Steve Jobs, for instilling that “live each day as if it is your last” mentality in me.
There are so many great quotes from Jobs that I could have included here, but they are too numerous to fit on one page. If you haven’t yet, do yourself a favor and watch his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
I will leave you with the Jobs quote that always seems to stick with me: “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”
Jake Steinerman is an LSA senior.