And all this because we just want to understand him. Because we are not him. We almost certainly, most of us, are not great men or women. We want to know how he rose to that rank and what we can take away that may help us do the same. And the select few who are bound for greatness will likely be no less fascinated and will want to look to him as a model or a cautionary tale. Everybody can take something from Steve.
What we talk about when we talk about Steve Jobs is ourselves. Our relation to him, or to who we want him to be. We talk about him in a way that helps us understand both him and ourselves, to make sense of how he could be way up there while we’re stuck down here, tapping away on one of his machines, praising its design, bitching about its Maps. And if you think you’ve heard or read it all, just wait. Just wait.
Steve Jobs has well and truly become one of the most perennial figures of modern industry. And for all of the positivity that comes with that, as Honan points out, it also subjects Steve and his memory to an exacerbating amount of lazy arguments, self-serving journalism, and speculatory nonsense.
Deluged with tales of his managerial brutality and emotional instability, it's easy for us to become lost in this romantically skewed vision of a modern day genius figure. Focusing upon these elements of controversy and anecdotal tales of his private life, we callously lose track of Steve Jobs' true footprint left upon the world.
Whether you care for Apple or not, Steve Jobs' influential agency over consumer electronics, media, and business is irrefutable. His keen sense for opportunity and his penchant for thoughtful design rendered him a true industry titan. A man who's worth remembering for his lasting achievements, not for his private life.
I do not wish to add to the inevitable sentiments of sadness today, but it's a fitting time to remember a gentleman that affected the modern world in such a visceral, positive, and admirable way. I do not wish to focus upon a loss, but rather upon the astounding impact that one man made, regardless of the gossip and hearsay that may reside beneath.
Friends, colleagues, and relatives will write memoirs. Journalists will continue to prey upon his memory. Aspiring people will doggedly seek to emulate his path toward material success. But, beyond all of this is the simple recognition of a smart man who had large dreams that he tirelessly worked to realize.
That's an image and a legacy worth committing to our collective memories. Romantic notions aside, that's a person whose life and work is deserving of respectful pause one year after he passed.