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October 5, 2011 9:16 pm

iFarewell – Steve Jobs 1955-2011

avatar by Ari Teman

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Steve Jobs. Photo: Matthew Yohe.

My friend called me as I was standing in line, “Did you hear the bad news?” “What!?” “Steve Jobs passed away.” I didn’t believe him. “Why isn’t everyone in Trader Joe’s crying?”

We live in an era of few icons. Men and women who beget legends in their own lifetimes, who are loved and feared and hated and admired, usually by the same people. Steve Jobs was an icon.

Jobs showed us a vision that began in monochrome and magically burst into lifelike color. As we walked the curvy road of technology, it often was Mr. Jobs behind the curtain. Except his magic was real. Into advertising, he gave courage. Into bits of silicon and tin he gave heart. Bill Gates brought computing into the workplace. Steve Jobs gave computing ruby slippers and brought it home.

Whether you grew up with the Apple IIe or the iPad2, or if your first Pixar movie was Toy Story, Jobs brought home something you’d never seen before. His products, like his presentations, had a sense of completeness, of elegance, executed and advocated for with a stubbornness that tasted of purity.

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Perhaps this is his legacy, the bravery to execute a vision without compromise. The strength to withstand criticism so harsh that it even involved being ousted from his own company (Apple of course begged him to come back) and the perseverance to use that “downtime” to birth further revolutions (Pixar).

From Steve Jobs we learn that what’s complex can be made simple and elegant, what’s unpopular can grow and overcome, and most importantly, what’s important to us is worth dedicating our lives to.

Ari Teman is co-founder of NextGen: Charity and NextGen: Health.

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