Steve Jobs died today at age 56, and the world lost a creative visionary. Apple enthusiasts will freely admit the significance of the loss, while even those who rejected or denigrated his contributions will nevertheless continue to enjoy for years to come the benefits of the technologies he championed.
I didn't know Jobs, but I know enough about him to draw a few conclusions from his life and death.
- Fifty-six years is too young for anyone to die, and it's a reminder that cancer sucks.
- His net worth was estimated to be in excess of six billion dollars. Only in science fiction stories can money buy more life. Keep that in mind when setting your priorities.
- Jobs was respected for his creativity, drive, and vision. But I never heard anyone talk about how much they loved him, or even liked him. He had a wife and kids, and I'm sure many people liked and loved him, but he'll be remembered for his achievements, not his character. I wonder if that's a legacy he'd be comfortable with.
In the end, the death of Steve Jobs seems to serve as a reminder of the wisdom of the writer of the book of Ecclesiastes:
Vanity of vanities! All is vanity. What advantage does man have in all his work which he does under the sun.