Last night, the greatest entrepreneur, inventor and technical visionary of our age passed away. You will be missed Steve Jobs. We’ll be commemorating Steve – and the impact he made on all of our lives – by posting thoughts from the uTest crew throughout the rest of the day/week, but I wanted to first post a very inspiring clip from his 2005 Stanford Commencement Address. Please feel free to add your thoughts in the comments.
“The only way to do great work, is to love the work that you do.”
Thoughts from the crew here at uTest (if you have a quote, story or link about Jobs that you’d like to share, please drop us a comment below):
@jennymoebius –“Today just isn’t the same. Although I personally didn’t know Steve Jobs, I strongly felt the blow of not having him around anymore – to invent, to create, to amaze and to connect us all in ways no one had ever dreamed before. Steve turned every one of us from passive users of technology into true creators – and those that give us the tools to further ourselves and the human race are remembered for all time.” #thankyouSteve
@spchampion — “My first experience using a Mac was when I was in college. I had a job with the university doing technical support, and they assigned me a brand new Blueberry iBook as my work computer. It was such a simple and elegant little laptop, and I was amazed at its build quality and design. But something was missing – the iBook had a handle on the back for carrying it places, but I was still tied to the wall by an Ethernet cable.
Apple had thought of this, and inside that little iBook they had included an incredibly cutting-edge piece of hardware that would let you use Ethernet wirelessly. This was new and risky – no other computer manufacturer was doing anything similar. In fact, this technology was so innovative that only one company made the base-station needed to create a wireless network: Apple.
When Apple launched the first generation Airport (itself a very elegant piece of hardware), I bought one immediately and set it up inside my dorm room. Then I detached my iBook from the wall, took it outside, and sat down on the grass in a nearby courtyard. I checked my email. I surfed the web. I saw the future.
Eleven years later, I came home from work one night, picked up my iPad, and sat down on my couch. I asked the iPad to load CNN, and the wireless network in my house (a second-generation Airport) happily dispatched the request and delivered the result. The news stunned me: Steve Jobs, the man responsible for all this innovation at my fingertips, had passed away.
Before Steve Jobs’ return, Apple was a company that made respectable but odd hardware. They used a proprietary keyboard connector called Apple Desktop Bus. They used SCSI for their hard drives. Their networking was done with AppleTalk. None of these technologies were particularly bad, but none of them changed the world either. What Steve Jobs did for Apple was to force the company to push the boundaries of technology and hardware in a way that would change the world for their customers. The original iBook was a brilliant example of this vision. It combined innovative hardware (an 802.11b radio) with a wildly iconic design, included high quality components, used emerging standards for connectivity (USB), and sold at a price that every college student could love. It was a computer you could use anywhere and connect to anything. It changed my world.
Thank you, Steve. I hope that we can keep pushing ourselves and our civilization as well as you did. ”
@edlavalette — “Steve Jobs had a unique ability to envision solutions to problems before us mortal users knew we had these problems.”
@matjohnston — “They could (and will) write libraries on Steve Jobs’ career — the break-through products he envisioned; the entirely new categories he created; saving Apple from the brink; saving the music industry; reinventing a big piece of the movie-making business. But what stands out to me is Jobs’ utter disrespect and disdain for the status quo. This man simply could not play by the rules that govern most execs and brands in modern times:
- Manage expectations… tamp down what customers, competitors and media expect from you. Jobs and Apple continually raised expectations to frothy heights — and then met or even beat them.
- Stick to what you’re good at… brands and execs are taught to focus on their core competencies and not to stray from it. Jobs and Apple were never constrained by the preconceived notions of “experts” about industry lines, price point or market segment. And we have the iPod, iPhone, iTunes and iPad because of it.
- Give the market what they want… we look endlessly at market research, customer satisfaction surveys, web analytics hoping to uncover what the market wants. But Jobs connected with the market on a deeper level and knew where tastes were heading before anyone else — competitors, media, or even consumers themselves.
- Play nice… in this hyper-connected world, brands and leaders are afraid to make a mistake or ruffle someone’s feathers, lest a customer, employee, or blogger take to Twitter and lob a critique at them. Jobs made an art form of autocratic-yet-engaging leadership. He proved that you don’t have to stoop to benign platitudes and empty talk to reach an audience — that people can and will rise to a challenge.
- Be bold… Many execs and brands play it safe these days (too often, this includes uTest). But Jobs put it all out there — in his vision for technology & design; in his management style; and in the tenor of his yearly Stevenote addresses at Mac World.
Thanks Steve. Thanks for showing us that we don’t have to choose between form and function. For inspiring a new generation of tech leaders who have a similar single-mindedness and audacity of vision. Here’s hoping we all remember to #ThinkDifferent
@Mahhcc — “My first experience with an Apple product was in the 1st grade, and since then I’ve owned 2 iPhones and numerous Mac computers, all of which I’ve loved. Although I didn’t know him personally, I will always admire Steve for creating products that people love and for turning Apple into the company that everyone races to catch up to.”
@jamesc_utest— “It’s an unfortunate thing to lose a mind like Steve Jobs, especially to such a heartbreaking thing like cancer. Someone with so much more he could’ve accomplished in technology with more time. We could’ve been sitting here 10 years from now, talking about how Steve jobs innovated the first Apple Car (iCar), for all we know. I was always a fan of Apple products, but never really understood my fanboy obsession until after college when in my first job I was given a macbook for every day use.
The ease of being able to pick up a product and just use it is something that wasn’t just Steve’s mantra, it was true in every sense. With Steve gone, I think one of the most lasting quotes I want to remember is when he said “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?”
@roysolomon — “For me Steve Jobs represents what entrepreneurship is all about, a lot of ups and downs, but if you stick to your truth and you are really gifted then you can change the world. In many ways we are like those in the 1400s who had the privilege of living in the age of Leonardo Da Vinci.”