The book of Job in the Hebrew bible tells the story of a long suffering man, tempted by Satan, who questions his faith, but through it all and in the end remains true to his belief in God despite the terrible trials he endures. It’s a parable of the righteous sufferer. In a sense Steve Jobs may have followed such a path too, but in a different context. The God of his world was Technology, and despite the trials of being fired from the company he founded, criticized for his bold adherence to aesthetics, and maligned for his penchant to be in control, he rose to become perhaps one of the great visionary figures of our time.

Jobs himself would never claim to have invented the computer, the mouse, the operating system, the mp3 player, or the mobile phone. What he did do was to influence it to make it something beautiful to use. He made it something humans didn’t just use for functionality, but turned it into something humans loved to use because it enriched the life experience. His genius, if it can be called that, was not in the making of  a thing, but in the making of a thing that resonated with the appeal of something aesthetic in life. He hit a sensitive nerve at a time when technology seemed to be overbearing and ominous and turned it into something gentle and intimate. He rewired our brains in a sense to accept the coming technology in decades to come. That may be his lasting legacy in future ways. Perhaps that is a Jobsian Revolution – and it’s insanely great! Steve would be happy with this legacy I think.

I am a fan of great speeches and Steve Jobs’ commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005 is really something to listen to. He talks about life and death and making the most of the time available while we are here. It is quite inspiring. I provide a link to the NPR site that offers a video and text transcript of that speech:

Steve Jobs Commencement Speech

Steve Jobs (1955 – 2011)  and the world won’t seem quite the same without him in this century going forward, but the Jobsian Revolution continues…