Steve Jobs and the sound of silence

146 thoughts on “Steve Jobs and the sound of silence”

    1. Om, I know some have said that this reads like an obit, but I know where you’re coming from, in that his situation must be serious. Let me just say that you hit the nail on the head when you said “Some men dream of the future. He built it.” Truly poignant words . . . it’s how Steve rolls!

  1. Hi Om… forgive the gender-ization here, but Steve succeeded because has balls. Your use of “petulant” is a mild way to put it. 🙂 The best thing that ever happened to him was (former Apple CEO) John Sculley kicking his ass out of the company back in ’86 or ’87. Steve never stopped feeling the pain of that, and it made him a despot. We are all the better for it.

  2. Beautifully put, Om. Many a tear today, and many who in looking at their own life’s purpose and the roadblocks that one must fight through to realize one’s dreams, are left with a deepening appreciation of how much the inspiration provided by Jobs made THEM want to be…BETTER.

  3. I’ve got my money on Apple going back to what it was while Jobs was gone. It has already lost in the OS market, is facing pressure from Google in the smart phone market, and eventually someone will build a better iPod and they’ll be lost.

    POLL: Now that Steve Jobs has resigned, what do you think will happen to Apple?
    Vote: http://www.wepolls.com/p/2073012

    1. @Rob,
      Hmmm a MS fan, or maybe Android??
      “I’ve got my money on Apple going back to what it was while Jobs was gone. It has already lost in the OS market, is facing pressure from Google in the smart phone market, and eventually someone will build a better iPod and they’ll be lost.”

      Go market share… Remember HP, the largest maker of PCs in the world,,, trying to dump their PC business… and walking away from 5-6 Billion investment in mobile…

      Yep, Apple is doomed…. doomed I tell you, and in 30 or 40 years you will see it…. 🙂

      en

  4. I hope Steve has decades to enjoy time with his family, having fun and as Chairman of the Board of Apple! He’s full of surprises and could very well be around for another 20- 30 years…who knows for sure?

      1. I hear you. Doing your own tiny startup is a lonely, hard road with many disappointments and set backs. It was seeing Steve wage his own battles and ultimately succeeding that gave me courage to continue on many occassions. I’m not there yet and today’s announcement makes me realize just how much I was still using him as inspiration. Now we know he’s a crutch we will not be able to lean on much longer, and we will have to make our own way without him.

      2. BTW, Om Malik, you are one of those folks I regard as one of the stand outs in our industry.

        Miss seeing you in video from the days when you appeared on Davorak’s Cranky Geeks podcast. Just loved your demeanor!

    1. Thank you Om. Thank you Steve. I have been a fan since I saw you (Steve) introducing the Mac in 1984. I have three heroes: Albert Einstein, Ram Dass, and Steve Jobs. Thank you Steve, I am humbled by your genius.

  5. Everything seems to be written as an obituary. For all we know, this could just be another in the progressive steps from iCEO to CEO, to now chairman where he can focus on just key relationships/things (China, etc) now that the company and it’s products are performing like a well oiled machine with a well thought out plan.

    I’m hoping that’s the case.

  6. From “Self-Reliance”
    “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — ‘Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.’ — Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

  7. One sentence sums it call “You Rock Steve Jobs” even though I haven’t used any of apple products but I love your ideas and I love the way you execute those ideas.You will continue to remain relevant thank you for showing us that “An idea can change the world”

  8. Om, you have said that you only write when you have something to say. You certainly did today. Thanks for a thoughtful tribute that is better than anything else I’ve read tonight.

  9. Aside from my being a diehard Mac user since college (’88), Apple has, by far, been THE single brand that’s influenced and inspired my life the most! Thanks, Mr. Jobs, for the greatest company in the world…and I hope we can look forward to many more years of your involvement.

  10. Beautifully said Om. Never been sad about a CEO resigning but clearly he is gravely ill. No doubt the naysayers will have their say but they can only dream where he achieved – Apple & Pixar in one life time, a buddhist & a maverick! I wish him well with whatever time he has left 🙂

  11. Hmmmmm All I can say is…

    ..SERIOULY ???? You are going to tell me that “It is incredibly hard for me to write right now” because a person that you have NEVER met in your life is deciding to quit his job for what may or may not be health reasons ???? Honestly, I find this either:

    1) Patently ridiculous that you would shed a tear for someone you have never met

    or

    2) Disgustingly money grabbing to try to use the health status of a person unknown to you on a personal level to obtain some more hits on your website

    You are going to tell us that you “cannot hear the sounds of the street or the ring of my phone” because you heard Steve Jobs, with whom you’ve NEVER shared a beer, broken bread, seen laugh when you told a stupid joke or gone through a tough personal moment together with, is quitting his job ???

    Well, all I can tell you is….

    Either, cry me a river and be a little bit more genuine !!!

    Or

    Learn to care about people that do matter to you on a personal level ….I dunno, your high school friends, your long lost Aunt Bertha, or the milkman you have said hi to a couple of times in your life !!!

    1. Alfredo, it’s obvious you’re not a fan of Steve Jobs. This article was written by a fan and appreciated by fans.

      If you’ve ever had a favorite actor, musician, celebrity or role model, you’d understand what it’s like to see that person’s successful path come to an end.

      However, If your mind is shallow enough to slay another man’s thoughts as he expresses reaction to disappointing news, then I can already sense that your intellect is absent of any real capabilities to dream and venture forward on a path, based on the pavings of great leaders.

      In other words, get a life quick. Your response above obnoxiously declares that you are undoubtedly a moron.

      1. Hi ThirstyTech,

        No, on the contrary. I did try to place me in Om’s shoes and think “If the persons unknown to me that I admire most were to die, would I feel the same way Om did” and the answer to me was a resounding “No”.

        It is not that my mind is “shallow enough” as you put it. It is simply that my mind and my sould are far more full with care for people I have actually shared experiences with to KNOW what really caring for somebody whose crossed his/her life’s path with me means.

        Honestly, ThirstyTech, if you state that you could not operate yesterday after hearing Steve Jobs was quittng I tell you, go out and live a little, live life with people that are real and tangible to you so that you can learn what REALLY caring about somebody means and not feeling sad that somebody that you have lived vicariously through by reading about him/her on online blogs decides to quit.

        Until then, let me go out and dig my mini violin from under my imaginary chest to cry me a river for your loss 🙂

    2. I think Steve would think otherwise of Om’s article because he would be able to see the words of praise, Nay, the effect he had had on Steve’s life. And Steve would be able to recognize Om’s genuineness in expressing what so few can. You’re obviously not of that ilk – that is not surprising.

      As for breaking bread – seriously?? Why don’t you get past your own psychological complex and get a life and let others express freely and proudly what you clearly are incapable of?

    3. You just remain on surface. That’s why you think that only having a coffee with someone can make you emotionally attached with him. People actually connect on ideas. Steve has been a guru to many. People have been trying to search his soul. His every quote is an evidence of his brilliance and wisdom. That wisdom can be applied to a large number of things and it makes sense.
      People can die(I am glad he is alive and healthy), but their ideas live. Forever.
      I can understand what Om felt. You need to get a life.

  12. I love the tribute, but do you know something I don’t? If not, then the tone of this piece is very much obituarial (if that is a word) and I think premature. Let’s not write him off yet.

  13. Here’s to a crazy one. Love him or hate him, one thing you cannot do is ignore him. He has changed the world and we will never go back. — cribbed from Apple’s 2006 “Think Different” ad.

  14. Personally I think we should separate ‘vision’ from ‘strategy’. Apple is a company with a vision and great execution.
    But they never created the AppStore or iPhone with a strategy for over 5 year. The AppStore happened to be a success because of great execution. With the success they quickly steered away from suggesting developers using HTML5, having real apps instead. It’s vision and ‘short term strategy’ if you will, but mostly: great execution.
    As of today all the other appstores are clunky in comparison and there is no ‘computer company’ who has elegant product design and software.

    Now only if they fix Lion 😉

  15. One of the greatest combacks in tne history of Silicone Valley? Which is even to compare with Jobs’ resurrection of Apple (and renewal of IT)? NONE, by far. SJ rules!

  16. These words will never be forgotten. I appreciate the effort and time that Steve jobs putted into this company & provided some masterpieces in our daily lives.

  17. What a great article. You not only honor the life work and reamrkable brillance of Steve Jobs, you provide some profound insights for everyone related to guiding change, innovation, leadership and dreaming vs building the future. If only more people had this type of thinking and discipline…just imagine. Thank you

  18. stirring stuff, this however –

    “I cannot look at Twitter, and through the mist in my eyes, I am having a tough time focusing on the screen of this computer. ” may be a maudlin bridge too far. If steve jobs were within reach, he would likely crack you over the head.

  19. Very touching to read and even inspiring. The thought that comes to mind is, are we writing his eulogy early so he can read it? If so awesome job! Steve is definitely a person who hasn’t let the confines of status quo box him in. He definitely color’s outside the box and a leader among leaders. Yes, he seems to have said goodbye under his terms and what else can any of us hope for than that. Even in what seems to be an goodbye he is looking beyond the moment. Steve, you have taught the world a Hugh lesson. May you see beyond the foreseeable future to reap the benefits of your life’s work, may you spend the remainder of your days on earth with the ones you love and love you. And when and only when the end comes please know your work isn’t done. There must be a need for the largest refresh unknown to man. God Bless!

  20. One of the best and most touching pieces I’ve ever read in GigaOm or any other blog for that matter. Captures the emotion many of us in the technology industry feel to a tee.

  21. Very well written Om, but i agree with some of the comments, Steve Jobs is still to stay, he has merely resigned from the CEO position at Apple.. We wish him the best of health and wish him sincerely that he is able to battle his health problems. The last decade under his leadership brought about some phenomenal products from Apple and we all are enjoying using them in our daily lives..

  22. Point of Note, Jobs doesn’t see the future, in fact he doesn’t profess to know the future, rather he believes in taking calculated decisions in bringing together techno-ideologies which intend become futuristic. And that’s what makes him a brilliant mark apart from the rest.

  23. Thanks, Om. And here’s Steve, from his 2005 Stanford commencement speech –
    “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.”

  24. Bravo! Unlike the analysts that drive our capital markets (and impact stock prices with unfounded and subjective commentary on what it means for Jobs to step down) you have hit the nail on the head: there is positive in this. Even though I agree that, for Steve, this kind of personal disruption is good for him as well (http://blog.jasonthibeault.com/index.php/2011/08/22/are-you-disruptive/) it’s also positive for the company. As humans, maybe we tend to look at the negative. When we say “Steve Jobs has resigned,” we all hang our heads and wonder what lies in store for the future. Rather, why not look at “Steve Jobs has resigned” and give a thumbs up? This is a new era for a venerable company. Steve built a culture of innovation and vision within Apple, not just a company bent on selling products (well, okay, there’s that too). That culture will not leave with Steve. And the new CEO, Tim Cook, is well entrenched in it. I believe that disruption will come for Apple, but slowly, and that when it comes, we should all be excited for the results.

    http://blog.jasonthibeault.com/index.php/2011/08/24/steve-jobs-an-era-comes-to-an-end-and-why-that-shouldnt-affect-the-stock/

  25. Although I thought it was a nicely put tribute to Steve Jobs, I was put off by the drama of how “incredibly hard” it was to write those lines, the teary eyes, etc. Thousands of people at RIM, Cisco, and HSBC have received emails from their leaders these past weeks, telling them their positions had been eliminated, and that they would be escorted out by security guards, getting their layoff papers on the way out. Now, that is an email that shocks your existance. The “Letter from Steve Jobs” you received is just about someone taking a different position at your company. Try a layoff letter if you want something to shock your world…

  26. I think Steve is way too smart to not have planned his exit in detail. I think Steve is going to be around for a while ,but he wants to ensure that when he really,really leaves Apple & others dont feel his absence.

  27. Don’t cry for the company (they’ll be fine, or they won’t: that’s capitalism for you) or the despotic businessman (he’ll be fine: as chairman, he’ll still provide vision), but shed a tear for a human being whose body is failing him.

  28. Mr. Jobs and Apple like many others in creative industries have been the facilitators of our careers: driving our productivity, ideas, dreams and enthusiasm. I’ve been an Apple Sys Admin, an Apple consultant, and hard core Mac user and occasionally pissed off vocalist when they make mistakes.

    However, through it all Steve Jobs passion, vision and enthusiasm for Apple and it’s products as well as Pixar and now Disney has been a visionary influence and example in my entire adult life. SInce my first Apple IIe and my Lisa my career as well as much of my life’s activities have evolved around Mr. Jobs vision and ideas. I owe him a world of thanks for helping drive my passion, career and firm belief in and hope for the future.

    Thanks you for all you have done and your leadership and passion. Thank you Mr. Jobs for not taking the ordinary path, for not giving in, for pushing us forward. May God bless you and your family and I pray the rest of your time with us are happy, comfortable, and satisfying.

    Thanks again.

  29. “I cannot look at Twitter, and through the mist in my eyes, I am having a tough time focusing on the screen of this computer. I cannot hear the sounds of the street or the ring of my phone. The second hand on my watch moves slowly, ever so slowly. I want to wake up and find it was all a nightmare.”

    Seriously man, get a life!

  30. I always enjoy your articles and your thoughts and points are spot on with SJ’s legacy. I hope he has many years left to enjoy his family and close friends. Everything else is irrelevant.

  31. Forget Steve Jobs. I can’t stand this tech bubble blowing hagiography that has gone down since Jobs’s retirement as Apple’s CEO. Tech rag Gigaom found Om Malik found out and cried: “It is incredibly hard for me to write right now. To me, like many of you, it is an incredibly emotional moment. I cannot look at Twitter, and through the mist in my eyes, I am having a tough time focusing on the screen of this computer.” Come on. So much for the illusion of journalist impartiality. Malik’s sentiment is serious. He is one of the many who’ve gotten rich on selling the illusion of Jobs as a visionary auteur. Silicon Valley, ever the retailers of vaporware–technology facilitated experiences we neither need nor want nor, often, come to market–needs fantasy as much as Hollywood need the illusion of celebrity to prop ups its market domination in the selling of stardust. http://savageminds.org/2011/08/31/forget-steve-jobs/

  32. Your article was very touching me and my company. I’ve been an apple fanboy since I was 15, now I’m 24 and have never been so proud to be a nerd. Steve was an amazing idol and absolutely changed my life forever. I won’t make it long as I don’t want to bore you, but the one thing I’m going to miss more than anything… I don’t need an iPad 3, iPhone 5 or SiRi. Give me one last keynote. I miss the old ones that got me hooked on apple. “one more thing” he was truly an inspiring presenter. I laugh in comparison to Microhard presentations. And his vision of not only his products, but his buildings an how proud he was of them. Also, some people do t understand his importance with Pixar. You should probably research that. Overall, a simply extraordinary person. A gift to the world in my eyes. I’ll miss you Steve, thanks for responding to the dozens and dozens of emails i’ve sent throughout the years, even the stupid ones.
    What an icon…

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