Steve Jobs and Other Artists

With the subject line, “Listen to this”, a mentor forwarded me this video today. I believe that I know why.  There are some subjects, ideas, and ideologies that Jobs says during his speech that were once discussed behind closed doors.  This got me thinking on my drive to work this morning while listening to the NPR news tributes about Steve Jobs death.  What was Steve Jobs to me?  What legacy did he leave behind in my eyes?

To me, Steve Jobs, was not a technologist.  He was an artist, idealist, and a dreamer.  While he invested his soul in his ideas, we now invest our pocketbooks in the gadgets that came from them.  Similar to how Michelangelo envisioned David prior to picking up his chisel to a piece of ‘badly blocked’ marble, Jobs’ visions were also fully distilled in his mind. Like Vincent Van Gogh whose color was the medium of his expression, Jobs used his mashups of technology to show his expression in his medium as if to say, “The medium is my message.” He never seemed to release a half-baked product, a half-finished piece of art, or something that he wouldn’t put his name on.  At times, his ideas and vision got him into financial trouble. His dreams and ideas existed prior to the technology that would eventually support them.

Jobs was a college dropout.  He chased after the knowledge that he felt was important and consistently made fun of those that went with the crowd or mimicked his style. Like many artists, his confidence boarder-lined as arrogance.

But he loved what he did.  He didn’t fear embarrassment or failure.

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
-Steve Jobs


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