With the passing of Steve Jobs, most of the world has taken time to reflect on the impact he had. I probably won’t say anything truly profound with this blog entry, but here are my thoughts, nonetheless. Yesterday, I wrote on Facebook that the world will never be the same without him. Then, I paused and realized that the world hasn’t been the same since he came on the scene. This morning, on Twitter, I made the comment that Jobs did more to create jobs than we have begun to discover, now and in the future.
Both statements seem simple enough to realize without much help. Anyone who has been alive for ten years not only understands these simple truths, but can probably share far more profound insights. Lacking in originality as they are, these are the thoughts that entered my mind and reverberated several times to introduce the thoughts I want to share with you.
By now, you may already be sick of hearing how Steve Jobs changed our lives, so I’ll try to put a different twist on the topic. I do not feel that Jobs’ passing means the innovation has come to an end. His inventiveness inspired creativity around the world. I’m not speaking in a mystical sense. I merely want to point out that people around the world have captured Jobs’ vision, and we are different people as a result of his work. I think we will study his life, and changes will continue to unfold either as a result of his death, despite it or both. Sometimes, the impact of one’s life can only be fully appreciated and realized posthumously. I think we are likely to find this true for Steve Jobs’ impact. His death is more a rite of passage than the end.
I’d also like to explain my second comment on Jobs’ passing: “Jobs did more to create jobs than we have begun to discover, now and in the future.” As a result of Jobs’ creativity and our unfolding imaginations, more ground-breaking technology will be introduced on a global scale. Furthermore, new careers will begin and new classes of jobs will evolve. I sincerely believe we’ll look back in five to ten years and realize that what I’m writing now is a profound understatement.
As technical communicators, we can be part of a new, creative, technology-driven revolution. We haven’t even begun to see how technology will transform our lives or improve the quality of life for everyone. Of course, people can also use technology for great evil and abuse it in ways we haven’t begun to imagine, but that’s not what this blog is about. I’m focusing on hope, because that is exactly what I feel. Instead of approaching the future with fear, we should embrace the change and get as far ahead of it as necessary to influence it. That’s what Steve Jobs did, and I can’t help feeling he would have wanted his fans to do the same thing.