“Steve Jobs mar gaya.”, he says.
“What…”, dumbstruck I pull out my Blackberry to check the news. CNBC has a nice obituary on it home page. “Visionary Leader, Steve Jobs, dies at 56” it says. It takes more than a minute for the truth to sink in. No, I was not related to him, I didn’t own Apple shares [which will probably tank when the markets open next] and nor was I ever a fan of Apple. But I was a fan of Jobs. I was awe-struck always, by his passion, his ideas and the spirit of his life. Ever since I read his biography I have come to like him. Very few individuals get to redefine the world and only one gets to do it the ways Jobs did it.
He was a millionaire at 21. If I remember it right, Jobs started out of his garage and tried to make devices that saved people’s calling cost by bypassing AT&T. At a time when computers were a high end game meant only for the few, Steve hired Skully, the CEO of Pepsi. Behind this move was Steve’s vision that computers were going to be a mass consumer product and so he wanted the right men to lead his company towards that. Skully eventually fought with Steve and Steve was fired from the company he founded. Steve went on to start another venture named Pixar which soon became the leader in its space. Apple floundered in the meantime, so much so that the board requested Steve to join the company once again.
Under Steve once again, Apple was all set to reach dizzying heights unveiling one product after another that would change the way we use our finger tips. Steve wrote the obituary for the Walkman, he created a space between mobile phones and personal computers that Microsoft never knew existed reducing their billions of dollars in research on mobile phones to nothing.
Come-backs in corporate history are rare. Come-backs in real life are even rarer. Diagnosed with the rarest form of pancreatic cancer, Steve stared death in the face for more than half a decade and his fight shows the triumph of human spirit. Steve didn’t succumb to cancer; if cancer were a person he would feel himself to be the most unfortunate of all that it was he who became the cause for Steve’s death. Steve belonged to the leagues of Edison, Einstein and Newton.
When Gandhi was shot dead Einstein said, “Generations to come will rarely believe that such a man in flesh and blood ever walked upon this earth.” We can precisely say the same about Steve. And one thing I am sure, for all those who RIP’ed Steve on your status messages, Steve is not going to rest in peace, he must have already started planning his iconoclastic moves in heaven too.