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I was fighting a bad flu and throat infection, and working through email back log and also checking in on twitter as usual today afternoon. And then I saw a tweet from Associated Press ( @AP) that Steve Jobs died. I just was stunned. I could not move, or even think for some time.

 

I did not know him – never met him, never heard him live, I did not even buy as many Apple products as most people – but I thought all this time that I knew him well somehow. I have a feeling I am not the only one feeling that way now.

 

“Game changing” is an often used term in the enterprise software world – and I, and many others have rolled our eyes many a time when we heard the phrase. And I have lost count of the number of times people have explicitly held enterprise world to Apple’s standards to make a point that it is not in the same league yet.  Steve Jobs set the gold standard for game changing, and it is a bar set high enough not to be challenged that easily.

 

When people said “consumer” – they meant Apple for the most part, and when people said “Apple” – they almost always meant “Steve Jobs”. How many people are in that league? Maybe Henry Ford or Einstein and a couple of others. Just being alive during his life time feels like an honor.

 

I have read many times that he was stubborn, controlling and so on. Another person with those qualities might not have succeeded – but Jobs did. And I believe he did so because he understood exactly what the customers needed and wanted, often before customers themselves needed or wanted any of it. And he was able to articulate it to the world in a way that was unique to him. If the rest of us can aim to move in that general direction – I think the world will be a better place in many ways.

 

His products were not perfect. I complained bitterly on battery life of iPhones for ever. But despite constantly having to charge the thing, I cannot even imagine using a blackberry anymore. I have switched phones before for not having good battery life, but the iPhones features far outweighed this problem for me.  He wowed us with products, got us hooked with near perfection from the first release – and then got us to upgrade (spending more money) with subsequent releases. Now – that is genius right there in my eyes.

 

I don’t know how many other CEOs had the mix of an artist’s soul and a technician’s brain. He used them both in the right ratio. Plus he proved to be a great CEO in the traditional sense too – hiring the right people, and managing for the long term. We saw how Apple ran succesfully with a COO leading the charge, when Jobs was out on extended leave. And the moment he could not do that job, he resigned. He did not have to hunt for another CEO – he had that already from within. Is there any wonder investors constantly kept faith in Apple, despite knowing that Jobs might not be there for ever?

 

And yet today, we must reconcile to the fact that like the rest of us, he was a mere mortal. My big regret is that I never got to meet the man in person. If I tried hard enough, I am sure I could have made that happen. It is a good lesson for me not to postpone important decisions for ever.

 

To the best designer yet in my lifetime, to the best CEO yet in my lifetime, to the best innovator yet in my life time , to the only true game changer yet in my life time – You will be an inspiration for this and many generations , and will live in our thoughts for ever.

 

Rest in Peace, Mr.Jobs . God Bless

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  1. Tom Cenens
    Hello Vijay

    The words that pop-up when I see the name Steve Jobs are Brillant, Creative, Ahead of his time.

    I haven’t seen him live either or anything but the videos like the one where he talks at Stanford are just epic. He was ahead of his time for sure.

    Kind regards

    Tom

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    1. Alvaro Tejada Galindo
      Vijay:

      My first computer back in the old days, was a Macintosh Plus…awesome graphical interface when PC were stuck into DOS…then I had a couple of other Macs and even a Powerbook…all great pieces of machinery…now I own an IPod Nano, IPhone 3GS and an IPad…without Steve Jobs, I wouldn’t had any those…was he a Game Changer? Hell he was…a true visionary, genius of our time…

      May God take care of him…

      Greetings,
      Blag. 

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  2. Michelle Crapo
    When I heard about him passing away.  I cried.  I know such a girlie thing to do.  But it was so sad.  He worked so hard for so long.  I know just by looking at the results that he loved his work.

    Sad – what is so sad.  Did he have the time to enjoy his family.  You know the things we take for granted.  Taking vacations, seeing our little one’s grow.  Maybe?  But what about retirement?  Did he get to enjoy his family 100% of the time.  I’d like to hope so.

    So I feel sad not only for the world – we’ve lost a true innovator.  But most of all for his family.  They miss the husband and the father.  This will never be replaced.

    Honestly I doubt he will ever be replaced as a top innovator either.  We all still remember Thomas Edison.

    However, I’m 100% sure his family will miss him the most.

    Michelle

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  3. Sylvia Santelli
    Funny you mentioned where you were when you hear the news. I feel like I will also always remember sitting on my friend’s coach when i got a text with the news.

    He really did single-handedly change the way the world works.

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  4. Kevin Wilson
    I had the pleasure of doing an SAP assessment at Apple a short while ago. My first experience at Apple was signing in at the reception. A simple, sleek white machine with a touch screen, type in my name, wait for my host to arrive, they sign in, out pops my ID and off we go… Simple, sleek, effective, glossy machines, … brilliant!
    Thank you Mr. Jobs. Your innovations changed the face of computers, impacting millions of people for the better. Your time on this Earth was far too short but you made what time you had count. Rest in Peace. You will be missed.
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  5. Martin English
    The thing I will always remember about Steve Jobs is his ‘need’ for knowledge.  He had no idea that learning cryptography while at University (this was while he had dropped out, but was still going to the classes he wanted to) would help in the design of the Lisa / Macintosh. A similar example, but more immeadiately useful, was his knowledge of electronics… Not his engineering skills (impressive though they were, especially in the early days), but the fact that he knew – to the cent – the cost of each of the Apples that he and Woz shipped.  I think that the same held true right up until yesterday.
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  6. Kumud Singh
    I started knowing more about him only since the beginning of this year.
    Heard his speech at Standford University.
    Now it looks like I would try finding more about him. I was hoping there would be some way he would be cured and live little longer but did not happen so.
    I really don’t know what it takes to be Steve jobs?
    But getting so many setbacks and turning all of them into success stories is a marvellous job. Wish all my prayers for his soul and family.

    Regards,
    Kumud

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  7. Xavier De Romagna
    Well put Vijay…true innovator he was indeed!
    Let us all honor his legacy by continuing to embrace innovation and collaboration we can bring about the change that is needed…

    progressive forward thinking…and innovation
    collaboration…optimism and leadership…THINK long term sustainability not short term gain…the time is here, seize the moment…as if “today was the last day of your life…”

    Xavier

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  8. Gaurav Brahmbhatt
    Even though I am not an Apple customer nor I followed Steve Jobs that much; I strongly believe that the world might forget all about Adam’s Apple but will remember Steve’s Apple for a long -really long- time.

    Really a good blog Vijay^2sankar. Well said: “Just being alive during his life time feels like an honor.”

    Regards,
    Gaurav Brahmbhatt

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  9. Rambabu Boorugu
    As everyone else I too felt sad of reading the news , and unfortunately I had to read that sad news in BBC App on his innovative Iphone itself ,

    He is really motivator,inspirable person to millions of techies/non techies , he showed the true and real beauty of the technology to the advanced to very common man by presenting Mac, Ipod/Iphone/Ipad and many…I still remember the kind of happyness/feel/touch when I tried Iphone and slided ” SLIDE TO UNLOCK” first time in 2007 when it is released

    Hope he rests in Peace and god gives strength and courage to their family to accept this ,

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