In an effort to not just be another “me too” about the end of an era, I’ve avoided saying too much about Steve Jobs stepping down as Apple’s CEO. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I find the news insignificant, but I find it more personal to me than business.
I find Steve’s rise-and-fall-and-rise-again story to be extraordinary on so many levels. I never met Steve Jobs. I probably never will. I don’t own every Apple product (though I do own my share). I know he has a less-than-pleasant reputation. But I feel that Steve Jobs is a father figure of sorts to many. He may not have always been there for you, and may have taught you some hard lessons, but he always came through when it counted and gave you what you needed even though you didn’t know it.
The understanding that life is about more than money (by one of the richest people on the planet) and that quality and commitment, above all else, can lead to success is a lesson I try to remember everyday.
Two of my favorite quotes to sum up what he meant to me better than I ever could:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.”