Steve Jobs, 56. Long live Steve.

The demo units at Switch Technohub

I denied Steve Jobs’s death when I first heard of it.

“Steve Jobs is dead?” Mama texted me while I was on a jeep to Katipunan to meet Katz for breakfast. “No, just retired,” I replied.

“Our television must be lying, then,” read her reply.

Incredulous, I opened Twitter on my iPhone 4. The tweets weren’t loading, so I opened up Mobile Safari and began googling.

The news outfits had broken their stories on Jobs only half an hour earlier.

* * *

Truth be told, I don’t think I’ve fully absorbed Steve Jobs’s death yet. We all knew his health was deteriorating. We knew it when he had to take three medical leaves as CEO. We knew his health was the reason he had to step down from Apple—his love for his company wouldn’t allow him to resign for any less. We knew his battle with disease had become permanent, that cancer had become his lifelong foe.

Still, I never imagined I would have to hear the news of his death this early. I’d imagined myself finding out about it a solid two or three decades later, plopped on a couch at home next to my child in front of whatever iDevice would be the fashion of the time. Jobs would have been cozily retired by the time he died, fully satisfied with what he would have had accomplished.

I guess to me, Jobs’s death felt like a film screening stopped before the closing credits ended. I think the thought process in my head was something like, “No, it can’t be. Steve still has so much to show us.”

Not that we haven’t seen anything from the man that revolutionized desktop computing, our mobile experience and the way we listen to music. I will fight anyone who says that Steve hasn’t made a mark; you couldn’t ignore his impact if you had three layers of blindfolds on. Still I think we felt that he had more, much much more left to show us, that the show was far from its end. Steve just needed to take a break.

It didn’t help that the day before his death, Tim Cook and the rest of the team he entrusted his life’s work to announced the iPhone 4S. Although Steve couldn’t go on stage to show the world the device, we know he was hands-on in creating it. For all we know, the early prototypes of the iPhone 5 are sitting in an Apple laboratory somewhere, not quite fully formed yet, but with the fingerprints of Steve Jobs all over them. Steve’s vision was so far-reaching, we can’t tell for sure where he stopped looking.

I suspect we won’t know for sure for a long time to come.

* * *

I could say Steve means the most to me as the man who made me feel personally connected to the chunks of metal that are my gadgets. But really, when I think of Steve I think of a tremendous presenter who knew how to get a message across and engage and spark enthusiasm in his audience.

The tips I picked up just watching Steve’s keynotes help me in school, when I have a report or some other kind of visual presentation to do. More than that, however, I learned from Steve to do what you want, do it with genuine enthusiasm and believe in it. The enthusiasm and belief of whoever you’re trying to convince will follow naturally.

Jobs did what he wanted to do, and he didn’t feel threatened by “the system.” He thought different; he spent his limited time on Earth to make a difference. He set out to put a ding in the Universe, and thanks to him, it now looks like a half-eaten apple.

I aspire to live the Jobs way every day of my life.


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