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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Another Visionary Leaves Us Too Soon

As news struck my brain that Steve Job had passed, the following thought rang out in my brain… “To see the world in a grain of sand.”  Yes, I know it is a line from Lara Croft – Tomb Raider, but it is so much more…

I knew it was coming; all signs were there for everyone to see. Even so, I did not think it would hit me quite this hard, but I sit here with tears in my eyes, mourning a loss in my life. As I sit here, wondering why I feel such a great loss for a man I never met, I am flushed with memories of the profoundly personal effect Steven Paul Jobs has on my life.

My first major research project in college?  A 25 page report on a blossoming young company and its two unknown founders, “Apple Computer and the Two Steves.”  Ask most people today who brought the micro computer to the business market, and you’ll probably get an answer of IBM or TI or HP, but they would be wrong…  It was Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and the Apple II.  All others were following on Apple’s success.  Ask those same people who brought the personal computer to the rest of us, and you’ll most likely be given a similar answer, but again they’d be wrong…  It was Steve Jobs, Apple, and the Macintosh.  The Mac was, and still is today, a computer that anyone can easily understand and use today.  Yes, today, I use a Dell PC and Windows, but, only because the business environment dictates it.  Windows and Microsoft would not be what it is today, if it had not been driven by Apple and the Mac OS.

My first major research project in business?  Armed with a brand new Macintosh Plus, and the newly release Microsoft Excel 1 for Mac, I embark on a mission to track and account for 5000 pieces of newly acquired module furniture spread over 3 buildings and two counties.  The successes of that project lead to being made responsible of $30 million in corporate assets.  And has led me through a career with jobs including, Accountant… Business Analyst… Technical Support Specialist… IT Consultant… Database Programmer, Developer and Admin… Sysadmin… IT Group Manager… Business Intelligence Analyst… and currently as a Business Operations Consultant. I even spent 2 years working at Apple Computer just before Steve returned.  I quite literally owe my career and success to Steve Jobs and an easy to learn and understand Macintosh Computer.  I don’t know if I’d have pursued the directions I have had I not been introduced to little electronic device that allowed me to learn computers and the processes they expedite, so easily.  Even my pursuit of writing might not have come about had it not been for Steve and Mac, as I am more attuned to the keyboard and word processor app than pen and paper.

I should also note that being only 6 months old; Steve Jobs is actually a contemporary of mine.  It is these time that often evoke thoughts of my own mortality, and contemplation of just how truly fragile is the human existence.  In looking at Steve’s life, we find a man who lived it on his terms, and never accepted what was, instead looking to what could be…  He never needed to be believed in, he believed in himself.  He believed in his visions and ideas so strongly as to appear to exclude all others, and usually turned out to be right.  He created products because they were thing that he wanted to use, and felt others would want as well.  Sounds a lot like another man I respect tremendously.  A couple of amazing and extraordinary human beings and our lives are better for their presence in the world.

I opened with the thought, “To see the world in a grain of sand.”  But, did you know there is more?

To see the world in a grain of sand,
and to see heaven in a wild flower,
hold infinity in the palm of your hands,
and eternity in an hour.
William Blake

I can find no better definition for the existence of Steve Jobs, or Walt Disney, or so many others like them.  Our lives have been infinitely enriched by theirs’.  As we mourn our losses, we must also remember to celebrate the gifts.

I’m going to leave you with a quote that can be found on my personal email signature:

Our hopes are so far ahead of our abilities.
When we are satisfied, perhaps we haven't
aimed high enough.
                                                          Rex Brandt

I found this quote 16 years ago hanging on the wall of my Grandfather-in-laws art studio.  It was been with me ever since and ever so more fitting now.

Aim High My Friend, AIM HIGH!!!

Your comments or questions are always welcome.  If you have a correction or something you think I should look at in my research, please feel free to contact me at
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Cross posted on my Confessions blog

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