As you probably know by now Steve Jobs passed away today. I could go on and on about my passion for all things Apple; how I hope they can continue to innovate without him… but what really strikes me is the hole I feel in my gut right now.
Two people have stoked my entrepreneurial fire for as long as I can remember… my father who literally created me, cared for me, mentored me, and supported everything I have ever wanted to do… and Steve Jobs, a man who I have never met or corresponded with in any way (despite many attempts of mine).
Steve accomplished so many things in his life that I can’t possibly list them all, but I believe his biggest contribution to the world was being an iMentor. Steve’s boldness, perseverance, work ethic and incredible attention design have guided me without our physical paths ever crossing (though I was so close at one MacWorld). I can’t tell you how many times I have thought to myself “what would Steve do?” I know I drive my development team crazy at times and it is thanks to Steve teaching me that good isn’t good enough. I want things to be “insanely great” and I am not alone.
An entire generation of entrepreneurs have been iMentored by Steve. His mark extends far beyond the iPhone in your hand or the iMac on your desk. From movies to music to robots and quantum physics, the people that are changing the world draw strength from following Steve’s long road to success.
Steve taught me that disruptors are often hated before they are loved, that the best ideas come from your heart (not focus groups), and most importantly to never give up on something that you believe in (even if your board or investors do).
Apple burst on the scene with the Apple I & II and that was incredible, but what really impressed me was the long term commitment Steve made despite what seemed like insurmountable odds. Apple was on the verge of bankruptcy and Steve came back to transform the company with his vision and commitment to innovation.
I have been there. I have been running on vapor. I have had everyone tell me I was crazy. I have been told, “don’t waste any more of your money.” I have been told to “just give up.”
I knew Steve wouldn’t give up. My dad doesn’t give up. I never give up.
I am no Steve Jobs. There is only one. However, I do hope that in some way my actions, failures and success can iMentor a new generation of entrepreneurs, developers and designers following their dreams.
I will miss you Steve. Give iGod a high five for me. I will buy you a beer when it is my time.