I have to come clean. I’m one of “those people.” You know the kind . . . the person who talks endlessly about their Mac, who eagerly scans the internet for rumors of the latest offering, and who bought the iPad simply because “Apple made it, so I must need it.” I was an Apple evangelist before we were all Apple evangelists, and — at some point during those years — I may have even crossed the line from “enthusiastic” to “annoying.” I’m getting the iPhone 4S the day it comes out, even though it’s only an incremental advance, and I agonize endlessly over whether my magnificent new Macbook Air has become — for all practical purposes — an “iPad killer.”
Who knows, I might be the kind of person who needs the (fictional) Apple Friend Bar:
When the news came last night that Steve Jobs had passed, I felt grieved far beyond what one normally feels when a celebrity passes. It’s not that I felt that I knew him the way people feel they “know” their favorite singer or actor through their songs or films. I know remarkably little about his personal life, considering his prominence. Simply put, he made my life better, appreciably better. He made millions of lives better. Through his incredible (and unique) combination of creativity, artistry, technological expertise, drive, and charisma, he created truly transformative products, a corporate community that provides work and purpose for tens of thousands of employees, and fostered a culture of innovation that will live on long after his life story is relegated to a paragraph in history books.
I don’t see Steve Jobs and see an example of “if you dream it, you can achieve it” any more than I would watch Michael Jordan at his height and think, “If only I practiced more, I could do what he does.” I’m not even sure how much we can learn from his example. Of course there are lessons about the power of a brilliant idea to transform a culture, the amazing ability of creative work to provide jobs and purpose to tens of thousands, and the marvelous virtues of free enterprise, but at the end of the day I’m simply grateful. I’m grateful to God for His grace in providing the people and talents that enrich our undeserving lives, and I’m grateful to Steve Jobs for living out the gifts God gave him.
May God comfort a family that lost a husband and father and the thousands who lost a person who was more than a “boss” or “founder,” but also an inspiration and mentor. And as we live in the world that Steve Jobs changed, let’s not forget the man who changed it. Rest in peace, Steve Jobs.