A place for reflection and introspection, communication and thoughtful conversation.
Thursday, 6 October 2011
VALE, STEVE JOBS...
“I want to put a ding in the universe.” - Steve Jobs
Pancreatic cancer is one of the worse that can afflict the human body. As the pancreas is deep inside the body, and because it is a rather loose organ surrounded by a thin capsule, any tumour that begins in this tissue tends to grow quickly and spread widely before it causes symptoms. Generally, by the time the cancer causes symptoms, it has already spread to other organs (typically the liver, first) and it is very difficult to treat effectively. Add to that that a great many of these cancers occur in people with no predisposing factors to cancer, so it is difficult to predict who will be affected. True enough, some patients have a history of smoking or drinking (doing both makes it much more likely to develop the cancer) and some others have a history of chronic pancreatic inflammatory disease or of gallstones. However, most pancreatic cancers occur out of the blue in people with no likely pre-existing causative factor.
Steve Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) had pancreatic cancer for seven years. He was classed as a long-term survivor, given that most people with this type of cancer die within one to two years of diagnosis. He battled long and hard, he was given both surgical and medical treatments – during his time at Apple, Jobs took medical leave three times, underwent surgery in 2004 and received liver transplant surgery in 2009. In August this year Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple handing over the reins to Timothy Cook, who was at that time, Chief Operating Officer. For a man suffering from such a terrible, grave disease and having undergone such drastic treatments, it is surprising that he worked so long and hard, almost until his death. Such a man showing such behaviour at a critical time in his life, tells us something about how much Steve jobs loved what he did. He worked with gusto and enjoyed his work, something evident from the Apple new product presentations that he did.
Steve Jobs was born in San Francisco and he was adopted by Californians Paul and Clara Jobs. He never met his biological parents and knew nothing about them until he was 27 years old. His biological father, Syrian immigrant Abdulfattah John Jandali, apparently sent him birthday cards every year. Jobs had to be given up for adoption after Mr Jandali’s girlfriend at the time (an American graduate student and now speech pathologist) refused to marry him.
Steve Jobs was a college dropout, leaving Reed College in Portland, Oregon, after a single semester, but continued to take classes, including a calligraphy class. This, he cited as the reason Macintosh computers were designed with multiple available fonts on the system. After returning from a spiritual trek to India in 1974, he worked as a technician for video game pioneer Atari and joined a club of computer hobbyists with Steve Wozniak, a fellow northern California college dropout. Wozniak’s home-made computer drew attention from other enthusiasts, but Jobs saw its potential far beyond the geeky hobbyists of the time. The pair started Apple Computer Inc in Jobs’ parents’ garage in 1976.
According to Wozniak, Jobs suggested the name after visiting an “apple orchard” that Wozniak said was actually a commune. Though he did not invent the first personal computer, Jobs certainly made them easier to use. His vision of simple, effective technology came to define the computer industry. Before the Apple II, one of the first successful mass-produced home computers, machines were typically clunky wooden boxes encased in metal. With its sleek design the Apple II – encased in plastic – went on sale in April 1977, and earned the company $600 million in 1981, a $598 million increase on the previous year’s sales. The rest is history.
iPhones, iPods, iPads, MacBooks, MacBook Air, a long list of revolutionary products that changed the world and made Apple Macintosh a household name. Jobs created a powerful brand, but more importantly, he created a “lovemark”. Lovemarks transcend brands. They deliver beyond your expectations of great performance. Like great brands, they sit on top of high levels of respect - but there the similarities end. Lovemarks reach your heart as well as your mind, creating an intimate, emotional connection that you just can’t live without. Ever. Take a brand away and people will find a replacement. Take a Lovemark away and people will protest its absence. Lovemarks are a relationship, not a mere transaction. You don’t just buy Lovemarks, you embrace them passionately. That’s why you never want to let go. Put simply, Lovemarks inspire: “Loyalty Beyond Reason”.
It is perhaps apt to end with some of Steve Jobs’ words. These come from the commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005 - his theme: “How To Live Before You Die”.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Vale, Steve Jobs!
Macintosh |ˈmakənˌtäSH| noun
A line of personal computers from Apple Inc. Introduced in 1984, the Macintosh computer was the first commercially successful personal computer to use a graphical user interface (GUI) and a mouse instead of a command-line interface. ORIGIN: The Macintosh project started in the late 1970s with Jef Raskin, an Apple employee, who envisioned an easy-to-use, low-cost computer for the average consumer. It was named after his favorite type of apple, the McIntosh.
I have been blogging daily on this platform for several years now. It is surprising that I have persisted as the world is changing and "microblogging" is now the norm. I blog to amuse myself, make comment on current affairs, externalise some of my creativity, keep notes on things that interest me, learn something new and to surprise myself with things that I discover about this wonderful, and sometimes crazy, world we live in.
I sometimes get the impression that I am on a soapbox delivering a monologue, so your comments are welcome.