Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs Dies At 56 - A Tribute To A Visionary Genius Who Changed Our Lives Forever

I remember very well how i learned the death of Walt Disney, back in 1966. I was a young boy living in Paris and it was through the now famous Paris Match cover - Paris Match is a french news magazine which at that time was the equivalent in France of LIFE Magazine. On the cover there was just the face of Mickey, who was crying. And i think i did too as the Disney animated classics changed so much my childhood.

45 years later another visionary genius died this morning and him, too, changed my life forever. Without Walt and Steve i would not be here posting daily articles on Disney and more... To say that i'm extremely sad by Steve Jobs death is an understatement. I said it before but, again, i bless the day i've bought my first iMac 15 years ago. It was my first computer and everything has been so easy since then.

When you look back to everything that Apple has introduced in computers since 35 years it's totally amazing. We all now how the Mac and its stellar OS X operating system, the iPod, the iPhone and now the iPad have changed our lives but other things, more simple, also came from Apple. Did you knew, for instance, that it was Apple who introduced the choice of difference fonts on a computer? Of course if they wouldn't have done it someone else would have think to do it but the truth is that it's Apple who did it the first. This one was indeed a small thing but i could go on and on on hundred of others things that Apple introduced to make our user experience better and more easy.

Without Steve we wouldn't also have Pixar. Everyone knows how Steve has transformed this animation studio after he bought it to Georges Lucas but without his unique instinct to choose the right man for the right job, probably Pixar wouldn't have been the same.

"Madness and genius are the two sides of the same street". This famous quote is so true that i can't count how many times i did say it to a lot of people trying to understand what it takes to be a genius. In fact, i think it's fair to say that genius is madness under control. Or, if you prefer, genius is a disciplined madness. As i've also said in my previous article about Steve: "First, a genius is someone who has an incredibly free spirit. Two, he is someone who is "naturally" visionary. There is no genius without vision, it's just impossible. And when i talk about vision, i mean "inside vision", or if you prefer another word: insight. Three, a genius has the constant ability to do the synthesis, i.e to be able to think about all the different plans of the reality at the same time and do the synthesis of them. And for sure, that's what Steve Jobs did from the start.

There is a famous David Lynch movie title which was "Fire walk with me". And i think this would fit perfectly to define Steve. He is a man with so much "fire" and the qualities - or defaults - associated to the "fire energy" as ancient chinese defines it, i.e high idealism, sense of beauty, capacity of vision and synthesis, tenacity, but also sometime a bit dictatorial with "olympian angers". For Steve, the goal, obviously, has always been to have the perfect ideal device becoming real and no matter how long it will take. But behind all this, there is another idea in the mind of Steve: to create products that makes life worth living. If we spend time on this planet it's not to create crap but to bring and share with the rest of the world a certain level of quality, and if possible the highest level of quality. In his case, products that will help people in their life and give them the ability to create as easily as possible what they wish".

Steve Wozniak, who created Apple with Steve Jobs, said this morning that most - if not all - of Steve dreams have been realized and even if he will not see personally the new Apple campus, most of its design will have come from Steve's dreams. I'm sure that the future Apple products will be as good as they were when Steve was here and i wonder if at Apple they will begin to ask themselves - just like it happened at the Walt Disney Company and WDI after Walt's death - " What would have Steve done?". This reminds me that someone incredibly stupid once said that "no one is irreplaceable" and there is nothing more wrong than that. Anyone is irreplaceable, and some people are indeed even more irreplaceable than others.

This first video below is unique, it's Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech in 2005 and it's probably the best one you can watch to learn more about Steve philosophy of life. A great great speech, really.

[VOSTFR] Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement... by Cladouros

What i will miss too, now that Steve passed away - and God knows how much i will really miss this - is Steve Jobs keynotes presentation. There is others people at Apple who are pretty good to present the new devices, but Steve was unique. If you've never seen him live during one of his presentation here below is the video of the iPhone keynote when Steve introduced to the world a device which was going to change forever our mobile phones. Now, almost anyone has a smart phone using the multi touch technology but if you remember just one minute what kind of mess the mobile phones were before the iPhone arrived you will understand why the people watching Steve presentation became just hysterical. The iPhone was "the future suddenly teleported in the present" and we know what an incredible hit it has been since then. And the new iPhone 4S which will be released in ten days will go on in this "future in the present" concept with the new SIRI voice recognition technology which will be a major step of artificial intelligence introduced in our daily lives.

Have a look, it was Steve at his best, on stage he is not only Apple CEO but also look like a kid showing to the world his latest invention!

In this rare last video you won't see Steve but it's his voice who narrates the first Think Different commercial called “Here’s to the Crazy Ones”. I think it's fair to say that we can add Steve to the "crazy ones" you'll see in this video. Because, as i've said, there is no genius without a bit of madness, and for sure Steve had both. I will miss him forever. Wherever you are now, Steve, i wish you a pleasant trip.

I'm adding this last minute video of Steve Wozniak, Apple co-founder, with his reaction today to Steve death.

You can also read my previous tribute called "Thank you so much, Steve" HERE and TIME magazine will release tomorrow friday a special issue "with 21 pages of the full issue to Jobs’ life and career. The issue will includes a six-page essay by Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson, a historical report on Jobs career by TIME technology reporters Harry McCracken and Lev Grossman and a photo essay by Diana Walker, who has been shooting Jobs for TIME since 1982".

Pictures and videos: copyright Apple Inc or Stanford University

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