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Remembering Steve Jobs

Remembering Steve Jobs. Click image to enlarge.

Everybody has an opinion about Steve Jobs. Please tell me how he has impacted your life in this brief survey.

I have read more about Steve Jobs after his passing than before. The outpouring of emotion and words of remembrance for him on the Web reflects the impact that he had on people who knew him and people who just used his products. I am part of the latter group.

Writing and Creating

I purchased my first computer, the Macintosh Plus, while I was in graduate school. I was amazed at the things I could do with this machine. I could write, play games (okay, mostly solitaire) and make art.  I wrote my first book, Measuring Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty, on that little magical box. My Mac allowed me to create everything for that book, from text and tables to fancy figures, helping me to describe complex ideas like sampling error. Sixteen years later, those exact figures still appear in the third edition of my book.

That book has greatly impacted my life and career. The process of writing the book helped me through a personal breakup. It helped me learn about the topic on which I was writing. It made me a better writer. The book itself even lead me into a career in helping companies improve the quality of the relationship they have with their customers. Without the computer that Steve Jobs created, I know my life would have been different than what it is today.

Defining Words

Writing and creating art are a big part of my life. To some degree, I have Steve Jobs to thank for that. I created the word cloud you see in this post, combining the words used to describe him after his passing with the image of him on the Apple.com site.  The words are based on many articles/quotes I found online today. Some words represented in this picture are from quotes from President Obama, Mark Zuckerberg, Guy Kawasaki, and Bill Gates, to name a few. The larger the font size, the more frequently that word was used to describe him. This picture represents how people define him, remember him.

I will leave you with words from Steve Jobs. I recently watched a recording of his 2005 commencement address to the graduating class of Stanford. While I enjoyed his entire address, one particular passage resonated with me.

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."

Steve Jobs

Thanks for following your heart, Steve.

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