What We Can Learn From Steve Jobs’ Passing

Many were upset by the passing of Steve Jobs on October 5th and understandably so. Jobs was a force in the tech world whose innovation will become legendary. Jobs did a lot with his time, but his death still leaves a bitter taste in many mouths. One can’t help but wonder what else was up this creative genius’s sleeve or what might have been if he had been able to continue innovating for just a few more years.

Jobs died from complications with pancreatic cancer. He had been diagnosed in 2003. Generally, the outlook for pancreatic cancer is grim but Jobs had a less-aggressive type. He did not receive radiation or chemotherapy but did have the tumor removed in 2004. The surgery was successful, but two years later Jobs still appeared gaunt when he delivered the 2006 keynote for the Worldwide Developer’s Conference. By 2008 stockholders were demanding information of Job’s health feeling that the value of Apple hinged on Job’s ability to perform. In response, and signature Jobs brashness, he ended a 2008 Apple Event with a slide reporting his blood pressure. Normalcy appeared to be returning…
In 2009, Jobs received a liver transplant in Memphis, Tennessee. Jobs prognosis after the operation was described as “excellent.” While organ transplant has certainly been perfected it is always a difficult procedure and half the battle is simply finding a donor.

Through his last years at Apple, Jobs took several medical leaves to rest and recover. During each of Job’s leaves Tim Cook acted in his position. When Jobs stepped down in August 2011, he appointed Cook as CEO of Apple Inc.

What can be learned from Steve Job’s is a story of passion. He was a man who truly pursued his talents and accomplished things his own way. Jobs’ drive made him very difficult to work with at times. Despite being a founder of Apple in 1976, Jobs was ousted by the board of directors in 1985. He had been trying to organize a boardroom coup against John Sculley, then Apple’s CEO, because he felt Sculley was bad for the company. Later, Jobs would comment that this allowed him to enter one of the most creative periods of his life. Jobs was also notorious for being design oriented—throwing a prototype in a fish tank to prove it had air in it and could be made smaller.

Jobs was known for his high standards, foresight and demanding work ethic. He pushed his team and effectively changed Apple Inc. from a sinking ship into one of, if not the, most effective tech innovator in the world. Jobs was intensely hands on and endlessly invested in his company. His name appears on over 345 different U.S. patents. Job’s death marks the end of a fantastically innovative era, but his inventions and influence on the tech industry have changed our world forever.