Steve Jobs: A living eulogy

All the usual suspects have written living eulogies of Steve Jobs (Economist, Bloomberg, HBR, Forbes, WSJ, Washington Post) since he decided to step down as CEO of Apple on August 24th for health reasons.

 
In this day and age it’s great that a CEO get’s to quit on his own terms, many wait until they are pushed and then it is all about their golden handshakes rather than what they have achieved.
 
Steve Jobs has accomplished a significant amount. When Fortune names you the CEO of the decade and likens your fundamental shake up of four industries (movies, music, mobile and personal computers) to Henry Ford’s one (automobiles), you know you have made an impact.
 
Off the back of all that accomplishment, there must be a hundred articles extracting the 7, 10 or 12 secrets to Steve Jobs’ success.
 
Most are trite for the simple reason that they lead to his success not yours.
 
The one nugget worth taking away is that he lives on his own terms mostly unaffected by what other people think he should do. This would seem to be a universally applicable strategy and while not guaranteeing success (which strategy can?), it certainly does guarantee fulfillment.
 
Using Steward Brand’s final signoff line from The Whole Earth Catalog, “Stay hungry, stay foolish”, his commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005 (previously posted on this blog), is one of the strongest calls to action for a life lived uniquely on your own terms.
 
Now that’s an incredible strategy.
 

Author: Dale Williams

Dale is based in Cape Town on the southern tip of Africa from where he maintains connections with people all over the world through his portfolio life.