Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me.
Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.
Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.
Those are quotes by Steve Jobs who died October 5, 2011 from cancer.
In a NY Times’ story, A Sister’s Eulogy for Steve Jobs, Mona Simpson, a feminist, described wanting to find a man to love and she did – it was her brother she had never known.
When she got the call, she was not told who her brother was. It was 1985. Her brother, who had been given up for adoption, was Steve Jobs.
The story describes their first meeting and offers a beautiful eulogy that concentrated on a life well-lived and filled with love.
He was a man who loved his children and his wife, was fiercely loyal, and heartbroken when betrayed.
His children were raised as “normal children” and he remained markedly down-to-earth.
“Even as a young millionaire, Steve always picked me up at the airport. He’d be standing there in his jeans,” Mona said.
He enjoyed his success. “Steve was humble. Steve liked to keep learning.”
Bearing his illness with courage, even in his last days, he set up projects for himself, even when he was intubated and could no longer speak, he never lost heart.
Then there was the day he died.
Tuesday morning, he called me to ask me to hurry up to Palo Alto. His tone was affectionate, dear, loving, but like someone whose luggage was already strapped onto the vehicle, who was already on the beginning of his journey, even as he was sorry, truly deeply sorry, to be leaving us.
He started his farewell and I stopped him. I said, “Wait. I’m coming. I’m in a taxi to the airport. I’ll be there.”
“I’m telling you now because I’m afraid you won’t make it on time, honey.”
When she got there, he was joking with his wife and after he would douse for a while, his wife would wake him to talk to his friends from Apple.
Then there was this:
This had to be done. Even now, he had a stern, still handsome profile, the profile of an absolutist, a romantic. His breath indicated an arduous journey, some steep path, altitude.
He seemed to be climbing.
But with that will, that work ethic, that strength, there was also sweet Steve’s capacity for wonderment, the artist’s belief in the ideal, the still more beautiful later.
Steve’s final words, hours earlier, were monosyllables, repeated three times.
Before embarking, he’d looked at his sister Patty, then for a long time at his children, then at his life’s partner, Laurene, and then over their shoulders past them.
Steve’s final words were:
OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW.
Steve Jobs was an Atheist but what did he see?