Today is an extremely sad day for me, for Steve’s family and friends, for all Apple employees around the world, and for everyone who has been inspired by Apple and their products.
Shortly after the news was announced to the world, Apple lowered the three flags outside their California headquarters to half-mast:
Apple also posted this message on their website today:
President Barack Obama paid a wonderful tribute to him:
Steve was among the greatest of American innovators – brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it.
Steve was fond of saying that he lived every day like it was his last. Because he did, he transformed our lives, redefined entire industries, and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way each of us sees the world.
The world has lost a visionary.
The Atlantic has put together a beautiful collection of high-resolution photos of Steve’s life and the world’s reaction to his death.
Steve brought Apple back from the brink of collapse when he returned to the company in 1997, and thanks to his inspiring and passionate leadership over the years since then, Apple has now been voted the world’s most admired company for four years in a row.
In his legendary talk at Stanford University in 2005, he shared his thoughts on death:
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
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.
I’d like to end by rewording the text from this advert:
You saw things differently.
You weren’t fond of rules, and you had no respect for the status quo.
They quoted you, disagreed with you, glorified and vilified you.
About the only thing they couldn’t do was ignore you.
Because you changed things.
You pushed the human race forward.
While some may have seen you as crazy, we saw genius.
Because the people like you who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
Thank you, Steve, for having the courage to think differently, and for inspiring us with your passion and vision.
You were a hero of mine, and you will be deeply missed.
Photo of the three flags by Alison Cassidy, used under Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 license.