An apple a day has passed away leaving a basketful of legacy

October 23, 2011
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An apple a day has passed away, leaving a basketful of legacy

I never met him, but I knew him.

I never talked to him, but he spoke to me often. I never saw him present live, but my vision of him is burned into my brain.

Steve Jobs has left the earth, but his legacy and remains are among each of us, and will be touched every day for decades.

When I learned of his death, I was so saddened I couldn’t write. I just sat there in disbelief, realizing that the life of the business hero I followed would no longer be alive to announce the next amazing technological product.

After a few hours, I posted this on all of my social media outlets:

“Steve Jobs has passed away, but his legacy will live longer than any of us. I am sad that my business hero has gone to his final reward, and forever grateful for what he has done to my world, both in business and in life. Thank you, Steve, for a Jobs well done.”

The laptop, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad were created and improved beyond the imagination or the capability of 1,000 of his peers. The great Bill Gates tried and failed — many times — to top Apple products. So have every one of his competitors.

And Jobs did all of this with quiet dignity, genius, eloquence and simplicity.

If you own an Apple product — any Apple product, there’s one thing you don’t need: an instruction manual. I have been using everything Mac and everything Apple since 1984, and I have NEVER read one word of “how-to” instruction. Part of Jobs’ design genius was to make every product intuitive.

One man reinvented the computer, the operating system, the music player and the cell phone (now called a smart phone), and created a tablet to fill a market space that no one even knew was void: the iPad. The iPad2 is changing the face of book publishing and book distribution the same way the iPod changed music and music distribution.

Amazing? No — genius.

Once Steve Jobs hit his stride, he only looked, and leaped, forward. He turned idea into vision, vision into reality, and reality into billions. Apple retail stores have lines around the corner for new product launches. On an average day, it’s hard to see the floor because the stores are so crowded.

More genius? Every employee in the store is a cash register!

Not bad for a college dropout.

  • I, like millions of others, admired him as a person of courage.

  • I, like millions of others, am more than sad he’s gone.

  • I, like millions of others, have been impacted by his products.

  • I, like millions of others, am more than grateful for his contributions.

Death has always had a challenging effect on me. My candle flame seems to burn brighter and hotter with the death of Jobs. I have a greater sense of urgency and a renewed drive to achieve more in a shorter time.

Watching tributes, I saw his Stanford University graduation address that was delivered in 2005 (available on YouTube). It’s a typical Jobs message of humor, brilliance, simplicity and riveting truth.

Steve Jobs did not just leave a legacy, he also left a lesson: Do what you love and believe it will make a difference. And do it full force, in the face of naysayers and obstacles.

What are you thinking about?

What is your vision?

What are you working on?

How are you turning your hard work into your reality?

And when you’re done, who will it impact for a lifetime?

Steve Jobs blazed a trail of amazing accomplishment. His legacy of innovation and achievement is more than one person could imagine. He parallels Edison as a pioneer. One or more of his marks are most likely in your home.

I humbly thank him, wish him a peaceful journey, and hope his family will revel in the memory of a great thinker, a great leader, a great marketer, a great family man and a great person.

On my LinkedIn comments about his passing, someone posted “iSad.” And immediately someone else posted “iSad2.” I couldn’t have “sad” it any better.

Jeffrey Gitomer’s website, www.gitomer.com, has more information about training and seminars, or e-mail him personally at salesman@gitomer.com

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