Steve Jobs passed away. He was a mere 56. I will be 50 at the end of this year so Apple products have always been around me.
I remember my cousin acquiring an Apple 2 which we took a day to unpack and install. During my military service, I had some free time and was teaching Pascal on MacIntoshes. Corporate life had me move to a Wintel platform but everyone in my family has a Mac, my wife, my children, my sister, my nieces (same for a number of us here like Eileen and Tim). I was an early second-generation Ipod addict. I do my day trips with my Ipad. I remember explaining to my kids that the guy behind the company which had made Nemo and Toy Story was the same guy who had done their Ipods and my son and I always share a smile when we think of the Fruit company where Lieutenant Dan invested Forrest Gump savings. When my 15 year-old niece discussed with me on career choices, the most appropriate thing I could think of was to show her the video of Job's commencement speech at Stanford ...
I have voraciously read every article I could about Jobs. I was amazed both by the story of this guy who had challenged the establishment in the early days, was kicked out of his company, set up to rebuild a grooundbreaking company which was Pixar when he arrived, then did this historic comeback to Apple making it what it is today.
The teachings that we can all derive are enourmous. Any executive in the high tech world consciously or unconsciously compares themselves to Jobs regerldess of whether they are in the consumer - enterprise space, in Europe, Asia or the US, in Hardware or Software. Deciding what not to do and being really good at what you really want to do is a Steve Jobs lesson. Working on products with a long term perspective is another one. How many times in GSX management meetings have been all of us making a Steve Jobs reference ?
I am sure that I am not alone in my company if I say that if we work in IT, it is because of the inspiration that he provided.