“I loved his enthusiasm. His simple delight. Often, I think, mixed with some simple relief. Yeah, we got there, we got there in the end and it was good. You can see his smile can’t you? The celebration of making something great for everybody. Enjoying the defeat of cynicism. The rejection of reason. The rejection of being told 100 times, ‘You can’t do that.’ So his I think, was a victory for beauty, for purity. And as he would say, ‘For giving a damn.’”—Jony Ive’s tribute to his best friend is one of the best out there.
Steve Jobs meant a lot of things to a lot of people. For some, he may have been a loyal friend; a jovial dad; a tenacious boss; a ruthless competitor. For others, he might have been the reason they fell in love with technology. For most, he was probably just the head of a company which made consumer products they would hear about every so often, and perhaps get to use and love.
When I think about what the Steve Jobs meant to me personally, I can boil him down to that voice in my head which stood — and stands — for a single ideology: never settle for mediocrity.
In work, play, love, and life, I can hear Steve Jobs’ dissatisfaction every time I do something I don’t believe to my core is the right thing to do (which happens more often than I’d like!), or when I find myself settling for something I know can be better.
Whatever you think about the principles he embodied — and there are a lot of them I didn’t agree with — you will have a hard time denying that Steve Jobs was a principled man. He stood for something. This was stated in almost everything he accomplished and put out to the world.
It’s this ideal of Jobs which makes me want to reach for what I can grasp and even more. Perfection may not be attainable with anything you do, but it sure is worth striving for. Jobs personified this belief.
I’ll miss watching Steve’s keynotes and interviews, and getting excited for products that he gave birth to with his passion and leadership. But thankfully, he’ll still be here to keep reminding me that life is all about having the courage to follow your heart and intuition. Everything else is secondary.