Most of us don’t face life-and-death decision everyday (gaining the world but losing our soul). Leave that to Caligula or Gaddafi.
Yet, a less wealthy Syrian, whose background had been oblivious even to himself, still got some press. Steve Jobs can still sell some books.
Like you, I was curious. So I browsed his biography. One snippet about Steve: he lived for ideas and did not mind recruiting the best of talents, wherever they might be : foreign country or far-out competitor (Dropbox was an example). We all read his introduction in Guy Kawasaki’s Reality Check. Or about his last meal out (penchant for the Far East, relics from his early days seeking enlightenment). To this day, no one could explain why not once, but twice, some Beta versions of the I-phone managed to show up in Hanoi.
One man used his oil wealth to buy influence in Africa (calling himself King of Kings… the sun would never set on his Empire).
The other, used his sense of abandonment to “think different”.
Although both were ambitious, the market chose to follow Steve’s lead. We knew he would not settle. And he emphatically said so (Standford Address).
When I left my local Barnes and Nobles, I turned around and saw all those hard-cover books stacking up, all had Steve Job’s staring out the window.
As if to remind me not to settle.
I am sure people at Apple Inc and Apple stores still feel his midas touch. The book cover captures that magical feel, like the all-white room in John Lennon‘s “Imagine” video. Simplicity in life and in death.
Once in a thousand years, out of the abundant gene pool, emerged a few geniuses, in Physics (Einstein), in Arts (Van Gogh), in Music (Elvis), in Aviation (Wright brothers) or in Technology (Jobs).
Although we don’t face the Faustian bargain on a daily basis, we have much to gain thanks to them. Now the burden is on us to make the most of this treasure trove. Go and invent your iNext. Stay hungry and stay foolish.