Earlier this week Steve Jobs finally succumbed to cancer. In the tech world, as one could expect, his passing was quite the news. But what struck me, was what struck me when my mom passed in 2004. For me, I lost a parent (I lost my dad in 1985 but that was different), for me, losing my mom, well. That death is a permanent state, not just for the person who has died, but for the people left behind.
I won’t pretend to know much of Mr Jobs as a person, I had the chance to meet him once while working at NeXT, and that encounter at best serves to give credence to the lauding of both his aesthetic and attention to detail. As someone who works in the tech industry, what does amaze me is the string of game changing products he and Apple have managed to produce over the years, having participated in product development for both successful, and not so successful products. What is amazing to me is the execution. What people don’t see is how fraught with mis-steps product development can be, yet if managed well, can still yield some pretty amazing stuff
As much as people have gone on about how he and Apple have changed things. More profound to me is that there is a wife, some kids, and other family who have lost a husband and a father and relative. As I get older, I see more and more of the tech world as at best an industry which produces things which have potential to help people live. Emphasis on potential.