The world has lost a genius this week. A couple of years back, I wrote an obituary for another genius, Michael Jackson. As shocking his demise was, the sudden passing away of Steve Jobs has affected the world in a similar manner.
The man was known to be a design genius and responsible for bringing to the world (ok, elite world) beauty and humour in technology. The iMac is truly a gorgeous piece of art, the iPod revolutionized how one listens to music and the iPhone brought beauty to phones in a world where ugly Nokias were winning(before everyone started making gorgeous touch screens)! Pixar studios made kids out of adults by giving us some of the most vivid animated films we have ever seen!
The contrarian view in my life suggests that the man could perhaps be overrated and a case of fabulous branding. The technological leaps he introduced were obviously the product of toil of very able teams who never came into the limelight. Thus, would it be fair to put him in the same league as Einstein?
As a great (and very hot) man once said “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn”. I am not an apple fan and though I respect the phenomenal brand positioning of its products, I prefer my android phone, windows 8 and fail to see the purpose of owning an iPad as it can’t replace my phone or my laptop! Having said that, I hold the man in very very high regard. For his philosophy in life and his thought processes…and the clarity in them. Only a person who has passed through great times of adversity reaches such clarity (unless ofcourse you’re born with it like me)!!
I made my career choices to make sense of my education for 5 years. I was trying to connect the dots going forward. If only I had gathered my courage earlier and been inspired sooner, my decisions may have been made earlier than they were. Having left my rewarding marketing career 1.5 years back, I have no regrets. Because I now see everything in retrospect. My writing this blog since 5 years, my writing for Rediff on Food and Travel, the draft of my book…it all fits in now. I can see the dots connecting as I look back. Steve in his ever popular speech suggested…do what you love to do, if you haven’t found it yet, keep looking…don’t settle. And find a way of making money off it. The money I earn now may be peanuts in comparison to before, but it gives me far more satisfaction than the extra 0 in my monthly bank statement did!
And thus, a month after I read this, I quit my job to focus my energies on what I truly wanted to do. Write. My fav part of his 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.”
R.I.P. Steve. You inspired millions and you helped me find the courage to follow my heart. My thoughts are with your family who shall miss you the most.
If you haven’t read the gazillion forwards with his speech, you can read it here.