When influential people die before their time, the natural reaction is a mixture of sadness over the passing, awe at the person’s accomplishments and envy wishing it was you who made such a lasting impression. In the days and weeks ahead, there will be an onslaught of personal reflections on Steve Jobs. We will no doubt read a blog from someone claiming to be his 5th grade math teacher who could sense his preternatural brilliance build with every square root equation solved. There will be tweets and Facebook posts from neighbors, acquaintances, perhaps even the new owner of the garage from which Jobs built his first computer. These remembrances and tributes will be heartfelt with a sprinkling of self-indulgence, as if six degrees of separation will inspire them to works of staggering genius. And apart from the revolutionary products and services Steve Jobs created – iTunes, Pixar, the iPod, iPhone and iPad – perhaps it is this desire to be part of something truly innovative, to dream bigger than most human minds can grasp, to truly change the world that is at the heart of the Steve Jobs legacy.
In time, there will be autocratic recollections of Steve Jobs. This is also human nature, the need to bring people down a peg. These remembrances, too, will stem from sadness, awe and envy for the likelihood of their being another Steve Jobs, a genuine game-changing visionary, is indeterminate.
Whether the coming remembrances of Steve Jobs stem from childhood, adulthood or Apple fanhood, whether they are praiseworthy or steeped in jealousy, there is no doubt that the universal reflection will be on his greatness, his unparalled acumen, and his standing as a true immortal.