“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
It’s still hard to believe that the guy who co-founded Apple, and made them the huge company they are today is gone. Before someone thinks, or says, “Yeah, people die” as I’ve heard many times, the fact that people die doesn’t make it any less tragic when it happens.
Anyway, according to Steve’s family’s official statement, he left this world surrounded by loved ones. I think that’s all anyone can ask for during their final moments. Still, let’s not make this about how sad we are about his passing. He had a family and close friends. Right now they are the ones hurting, so let’s keep them in mind as we read on.
Here is a collection of some of the many thoughts from others in the tech world:
From his family:
Steve died peacefully today surrounded by his family.
In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family. We are thankful to the many people who have shared their wishes and prayers during the last year of Steve’s illness; a website will be provided for those who wish to offer tributes and memories.
We are grateful for the support and kindness of those who share our feelings for Steve. We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief.
Tim Cook, CEO
I have some very sad news to share with all of you. Steve passed away earlier today.
Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.
We are planning a celebration of Steve’s extraordinary life for Apple employees that will take place soon. If you would like to share your thoughts, memories and condolences in the interim, you can simply email email@example.com.
No words can adequately express our sadness at Steve’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much.
President Barack Obama:
Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs. Steve was among the greatest of American innovators – brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it.
By building one of the planet’s most successful companies from his garage, he exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity. By making computers personal and putting the internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun. And by turning his talents to storytelling, he has brought joy to millions of children and grownups alike. Steve was fond of saying that he lived every day like it was his last. Because he did, he transformed our lives, redefined entire industries, and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way each of us sees the world.
The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Steve’s wife Laurene, his family, and all those who loved him.
Bill Gates, Microsoft Chairman
I’m truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs’ death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work.
Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives. The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come.
For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.
Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft
I want to express my deepest condolences at the passing of Steve Jobs, one of the founders of our industry and a true visionary. My heart goes out to his family, everyone at Apple and everyone who has been touched by his work.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook
Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you.
Larry Page, CEO of Google
I am very, very sad to hear the news about Steve. He was a great man with incredible achievements and amazing brilliance. He always seemed to be able to say in very few words what you actually should have been thinking before you thought it. His focus on the user experience above all else has always been an inspiration to me. He was very kind to reach out to me as I became CEO of Google and spend time offering his advice and knowledge even though he was not at all well. My thoughts and Google’s are with his family and the whole Apple family.
Eric Schmidt, Chairman of Google
Today is very sad for all of us. Steve defined a generation of style and technology that’s unlikely to be matched again. Steve was so charismatically brilliant that he inspired people to do the impossible, and he will be remembered as the greatest computer innovator in history.
Tom Shear, Musician, Assemblage 23
RIP Steve Jobs – It’s hard to imagine how different my career would’ve been without your genius..
Bob Iger, CEO of Disney
Steve Jobs was a great friend as well as a trusted advisor. His legacy will extend far beyond the products he created or the businesses he built. It will be the millions of people he inspired, the lives he changed and the culture he defined. Steve was such an ‘original,’ with a thoroughly creative, imaginative mind that defined an era. Despite all he accomplished, it feels like he was just getting started. With his passing the world has lost a rare original, Disney has lost a member of our family, and I have lost a great friend.
Other Links and Stories
On Thinking Different – Link
Wired’s touching homepage tribute Link
Brian Lam on the iPhone 4 thing. It’s interesting to read this from Gizmodo’s former editor. “I just feel lucky I had the chance to tell a kind man that I was sorry for being an as***le before it was too late.” Link
Apple Keynotes – Videos of Apple’s presentations and product announcements – Link
Every Steve Jobs appearance at All Things D’s confernces: Link
A great piece by Walt Mossberg “The Steve Jobs I Knew”
Steve Wozniak statement here