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Jobs Stimulus Package

Apple-logo Today I downloaded an album onto my iPod. There's nothing unusual about it. Except today it felt different. Solemn. Reverent. (Good thing it was an album of hymns.)

It's been 24 hours since my wife texted me with the news of Steve Jobs' passing. I don't think anyone was surprised. His failing health and resignation from his own company 6 weeks ago have been the topic of news headlines for quite a while.

I've watched with interest the plethora of articles, the replay of YouTube advertisements, the references to his Stanford address, and the number of quotes... all paying homage to a man who probably changed the last quarter of a century moreso than any other.

I think back to my own initial introduction to Apple... my very first Apple IIC, which got me through four years of college typing papers for people. Even back then, Steve Jobs ignited my entrepreneurial spirit.

In the 1980's, Jobs promised us something more. His 1984 commerical was viscerally groundbreaking, and served as a foreshadowing of the Apple brand.

In the 1990's we all pretty much mocked Apple as it went through its dark era. Microsoft ruled the world. Apple was relegated to educational artsy-fartsy types and obscure applications nobody would use in the "real world" ....

Wait for it ....

The new millennium arrived and with it a regenerated Apple and a recharged Steve Jobs. Apple took the computing world to new places with smaller, faster, better-built laptops. Jobs revolutionized the music industry by allowing us to fit entire libraries ranging from classical to heavy metal into our pockets. Our phones became truly smart with apps and capabilities that once again revolutionized an industry and set the bar excruciatingly high for competitors.

But let's forget the Steve Jobs of commerce for a moment.

Let's, instead, focus on the Steve Jobs of the masses.

In his Stanford address, he encouraged to us to live original lives full of passion and meaning.

In his advertising, he challenged our concept of what was crazy vs. sane.

In his products, he blurred the lines between "what is" and "what if."

In his presentations, he was a showman who turned technology into theatre.

Steve Jobs was a master of industry, but at his core, he was a mental blacksmith. He made tools to enable others, forging minds of the strongest steel. At the risk of becoming political here, Washington wants us to think that throwing money at a problem makes a good Jobs Stimulus Package... but like everything else in his too-short life, Steve Jobs already set the bar too high. He proved the best way to stimulate someone to greatness is to provide them with the tools to THINK... and THINK DIFFERENT.

Thank you, Steve. You gave our generation the best "Jobs Stimulus Package" ever... our own imaginations.

1955-2011

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