A long time ago, a wise old man once told me that money doesn’t solve all the problems. Money doesn’t invent the future. Money doesn’t create art. People do. People solve the problems. People invent the future. People create beauty and art. It is a simple lesson that has stayed with me. It is also the yardstick I use when I meet other people and how I gauge people. And that’s perhaps why I always admired Steve Jobs.
Jobs chose to do what he believed in and everything else, including success, fame and money followed. His life wasn’t perfect and neither was he. Like all humans, he had his own limitations. But still, he did believe in something — and that something is the lesson of his life.
Some ask, will there be another Steve Jobs? Others wonder who will that be? Wrong question. For just like there will never be another Hemingway (who painted with words) or Picasso (who turned to canvas for poetry), there will be only Steve Jobs — an imperfect man on a quest for perfection that only he and his internal demons understood. And like many others (the crazy ones, as an Apple commercial once called them) before him, he will and should be remembered for what he stood for.
Jobs showed us that conviction of a single person can transform the world of even inanimate objects such as computers by focusing on simplicity and happiness.
A dear friend put it best when he said that Jobs allowed himself the freedom to dream big and most of us need to learn from him and supersize our dreams. While that is true of everyone, the Silicon Valley of 2012 needs to pay heed. Silicon Valley of quick flips, petty jealousies and rampant short-termism needs to remind itself of a greater purpose than a public offering. Change is more than a headline. It takes patience. It is more profound. And it is thinking about more than just us.
Yes, the hole in my heart that was left a year ago is still there. And like every wound it has been covered by the congealed blood of time. The scar will be a reminder of not Jobs the person, but the ideas he represented. Jobs once said to follow your heart, do what you love and let the dots connect themselves. Today, on the first anniversary of his death, we can all try to do just that.