Steve Jobs: A Legacy of Creativity and Fatherlessness
Like the rest of the world, I’ve been fascinated with the life and death of Steve Jobs. Jobs – founder of Apple and iEverything, will go down as one of history’s greatest inventors and creative geniuses.
Personally, as writer and leader of a newer non-profit, I admired him from afar. I love the way that Jobs could bring a concept from idea to production. Anyone can have great concepts / great ideas. Just go to Detroit and see the concept car from every major car company. Fascinating. But something always seems to happen between concept and production. The sharp edges of concept are dulled, blunted, and vanilla-ized. Risk gives way to safety. To familiarity. To fear. And in the end, the Taurus still looks, well… just like a Taurus.
But not with Jobs.
He could ruthlessly bring his concepts, like the iPhone, from idea to production. Only true creatives can do that. This is the reason for Apple’s legendary success. Jobs genius ideas turned into genius creations. Over and over again. Jobs vision forged the way for a new generation of creatives, people inspired to bring ideas to life.
Jobs touted technology as a way to lessen the Fall, the curse of work that was laid upon Adam (and all of us) in the Garden. Apple’s logo was the bitten apple – the symbol of fallen humanity. Jobs believed technology could make work more simple. And more beautiful. In some ways, his creations did lesson the curse. In this way, Jobs was both cultural architect and redeemer.
Jobs was more than a creative genius and merciless leader. Much more. His personal story is complicated and somewhat tragic. Shortly after his birth, he was given up for adoption. His father, John Jandali found out that Steve was his son in 2005 and periodically sent emails to him, but never heard back. They never met. (See today’s article in the WSJ – “For Job’s Biological Father, the Reunion Never Came.” http://bit.ly/osefur)
Steve Jobs official biography by Walter Isaacson is coming out in a couple of weeks. Since his death, it has been #1 on Amazon. I’m looking forward to reading it. Apparently, Jobs gave unprecedented access to Isaacson, access to his otherwise private and secret personal life. When Jobs was asked why he did this, he simply replied,
“Because I want my kids to know who I was.”