Steve Jobs: You die, and everybody loves you
Fact: If you’re dead, suddenly everybody loves you – Grouchy Rabbit.
Especially if you are an American billionaire that made shiny consumerism cool in ways unprecedented. Or at least that’s what the global wave of mourning that engulfed us in the aftermath of Steve Jobs death would have us believe.
The dotted I’s went up in solidarity for a man who was hailed as a legend, a visionary or in some extreme cases, a prophet. His dogma offered you a bite off the forbidden fruit, a guilt free morsel of the sweetest thing you will ever taste if you have the power to pay. Once you convert, you have a temple of sleek gadgets and a hereafter of apps that exalt you with superhuman powers. You can now touch an inanimate object and bring it to life.
A grief-stricken colleague was horrified when someone turned around and asked him why should he care so much about Steve Jobs dying. Why did he, I asked him. Imagine a world without iPhones, he answered. I could, actually, since I don’t own one. I couldn’t, however, imagine a world where people stopped believing that they can change the world.
Did he change the world though? No. Did he make it a better place to live? No. Did he inspire millions to believe in the power of dreams? Yes. That’s probably what his legacy is and that’s probably why so many of us did care.
Like all men equipped with world-altering inspiration, divine or otherwise, he was mad. He didn’t fit a structured course of do’s and don’ts, charted his own journey and made a success story out of it. He believed he could change the world, whether he did or not, depends on whether you own an Apple product or don’t, but what’s important here is the fact that he was uncomfortable enough all his life to think that.
In a world that would have us all semi-myopic in an illusion of comfort, most of us lose sight of what we had set out to do. He didn’t in so many ways. Also, the fact that he earned billions off it helped. So here’s to staying hungry, foolish and eventually ending up really, really rich.
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