It was during the training phase of my maiden job that I got acquainted with the name ‘Steve Jobs’. It was an unusually long day made unbearable by the somniferous oratory of the highly distinguished speakers. That was the day I tried improvising on a proverb and came up with the now infamous: “Ignorance is Bliss, Slumber is Divine”. I suffer from the habit of conjuring up some obnoxious one liners like: “Dedication and determination lead to destruction”, or “One’s examination marks are inversely proportional to one’s intelligence”. I would spare my ardent readers the horror of sharing more of such blasphemous novelties.
Let me come straight to the point and tell you how I first heard of Jobs. While I was busy taking my umpteenth nap for the day—sitting at one of the safer places at the back of the auditorium—I heard a distant clatter, which gradually brought me back to senses. To my wildest amusement, I noticed that one of the speakers had finally succeeded in getting the attention of the audience through his storytelling prowess. Even amidst all the shouting and clattering, I was having a very tough time regaining my consciousness. Suddenly, I heard the speaker talking about Apple’s MacBook. He asked the audience the reason behind the unprecedented success of the MacBook. One of my bibliophilic friends blurted: “Personality of Steve Jobs”. His comment made him a laughing-stock of the less knowledgeable audience members, but I knew him better than to doubt his wisdom and more importantly, his aversion to levity. That day when I went back to the Studio apartments, I had a sense of purpose which had been missing for long. For the rest of the night, I kept on searching for anything related to Steve Jobs on the internet and incredibly managed to imbibe most of it. I was fascinated to know about his life, struggle and achievements. I felt as if I were watching a run-of-the-mill Hollywood tale of an underdog: rags to riches and then back to rags and eventually to riches. There was a man whose life was a living example of hope, self-belief and motivation, a maverick who had the courage to follow his heart against all odds, a larger than life figure whose aspirations made him the inspiration of millions. I had learnt about the ‘Phoenix’—a mythical bird which rises from its ashes after every 500 years—in one of the English Literature lectures at School. I was finally seeing a personification of that mythical bird in Steve Jobs.
Today that Jobs is no longer with us, I best remember him as a great inventor, visionary, and philosopher of the 21st century. There have never been any doubts regarding Jobs’ credibility as a great visionary or an inventor par excellence. All doubts concerning his credibility as a philosopher were put to rest by his iconic 15-minute address at Stanford’s 114th Commencement in 2005. During his emotional speech, Jobs shared his life experiences to expound the three principles he believed pivotal to life: to follow one’s heart come what may, to always learn from one’s failures, and to live like there is no tomorrow.
I would like take this opportunity to pay a tribute to Steve jobs by sharing what he wished for the youth of today: Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. As far as I am concerned, I will always remember Steve Jobs as the young entrepreneur who had the courage to ask John Sculley, the former CEO of Pepsi-Cola, “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?”
PS. RIP Steve Paul Jobs!