Tonight I discovered on Twitter that Steve Jobs had passed away and did a double take. I was not expecting it so soon. A Google search turned up nothing, but Twitter was logging posts faster than I could read them. It was true and as the hours went by, Twitter felt more like a choir than its usual fire hose. And now, the world feels a little less certain in his absence. A very bright light we all looked to for inspiration (and often hope) has gone dark long before its time.
We depended on his vision to shape what was possible, and what was probable, even when we didn’t know what that might be. Who can imagine our world today without the genius of Steve Jobs? Others have expressed the untimely loss in far better words than I can convey, and I will let their words speak for his legacy. Below are some of my favorite stories, tweets and quotes from the man who will forever hold a place in history as one of the greatest innovators, leaders, and inspirations for innovation.
Apple’s tribute went up first, with requests for "thoughts, memories, and condolences" about Steve Jobs to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Wall Street Journal and New York Times both have wonderful timelines of Jobs’ life. AllThingsD has a great piece from Walt Mossberg on, "The Steve Jobs I Knew," as well as reaction from Bill Gates who said, “I will miss Steve immensely.” Mashable has the Apple Board of Directors statement, which says, “Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.” It also has a statement from Jobs’ family, which is planning to erect a tribute website in the near future. And Michael Arrington posted a brief piece on Uncrunched that reads, “Goodbye Steve. You lived. You really really lived.”
Great Steve Jobs Quotes
I saw an overwhelming number of tweets directing followers to Jobs’ Stanford graduation speech (available on the TED site) about “how to live before you die” where he said, “Your time is limited, don’t waste it on someone else’s life.” I pray we all live this sincerely. So many on Twitter also posted other great quotes from Jobs, including:
- Business Insider’s round-up of quotes collected from Wired and the Wall Street Journal, including this one: “I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.”
- TheNextWeb (thanks @samanthamcgarry for sending me this one) also has a broad collection of quotes through the years, such as this from CNNMoney/Fortune in 1998, "If you look at the artists, if they get really good, it always occurs to them at some point that they can do this one thing for the rest of their lives, and they can be really successful to the outside world but not really be successful to themselves. That’s the moment that an artist really decides who he or she is. If they keep on risking failure, they’re still artists. Dylan and Picasso were always risking failure."
- "Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugar water, or do you want a chance to change the world?" via @umairh
- "Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose." via @ariannahuff
- “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.” via @jtriest
Beautiful Words of Tribute
And finally, the amazing comments, quotes and remembrances from some of the beautiful hearts on Twitter. You can search on the #ThankYouSteveJobs hashtag to keep up. Some of my favorites include:
- “Some of the fire in the universe dimmed tonight. Steve Jobs, thank you for reminding us all what ambition+imagination can do” from @DianeSawyer
- "He is of his era, what Thomas Edison was to the 20th Century" ~ R. McNamee on Steve Jobs via @NPR and @LisaJohnson
- “Now I guess we all know just a tiny bit better what a life meaningfully well lived means” from @umairh
- Steve Jobs "inspired people to do the impossible." - Eric Schmidt, Google Ex. Chair via @AnnCurry
- President Obama: "Bold enough to believe he could change the world & talented enough to do it" via @whitehouse
- "A great light has gone out from the world. Thanks, Steve, for all the wonderful creations" from @joshualyman
- “Shocked. Sad. Thanks, Steve Jobs. You put a dent in the universe. Many times.” via @robpegoraro
- "It's a bit strange, working on all this material dedicated to Steve Jobs, on machinery that wouldn't exist without him." from @nytjim
Thank you Steve Jobs.