Steve Jobs died today.
We — that is, the collective world of computer scientists, designers, and I dare say anyone who tried to make people’s lives easier through technology — have truly lost a mentor, a visionary, an examplar.
I’ll leave everyone a bit of time to be sad, to mourn, to feel deflated. But let’s not dwell on the fact that this man was taken from us too soon. For a man like Jobs, death would always come “too soon”. Let’s remember a man who steered his company until his near final days. A man who was forced out of his company only to restore it to a level of glory it never previously knew. A man who — again and again — changed the world… and won. A man who created the PC industry thirty years ago with the Apple computer, only to worry everyone that he would phase it out thirty years after with the iPad. A man who put a wealth of knowledge on our desks, in our hands, and in our pockets. He’s led one Hell of a life.
During his now-famous and soon-to-be oft-quoted Stanford commencement speech, Steve Jobs urged the attendees of his speech: “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish”.
If there ever comes a day when we forget the impact that Steve Jobs had on computing, let’s never forget that urge he pushed the students of Stanford to cede to:
Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish
Don’t think that what you want to do is too grandiose, too sweeping, too drastic, too focused, too nerdy, too expensive, too subtle, too understated, or too unimportant.
Steve Jobs’ speech at Stanford included the following two paragraphs, which I will include verbatim, right before his reference to the title of this post:
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
Go make something awesome. Go do something no one thinks will work. Go kick ass.
Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.