October 6, 2011

Preface: Steve and I go way back. No, I never met him face to face. But I’m just one year younger than he and I have owned a long list of Apple products since the 1980s so I feel particularly connected. This tribute is dedicated to the man who inspired millions on every continent during his short but very full life.

Social media activity after the death of Steve Jobs has been unprecedented. At no time else in recent memory has there been such a flood of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other network buzz spreading the news around the world instantaneously.

Actor Ashton Kutcher who goes by the handle @aplusk on Twitter is really a man who has a way with words when it comes to this great loss.

Shortly after the news of the passing of the iconic Apple co-founder on October 5th, the co-star of the Prime Time TV show Two and A Half Men changed his Twitter profile picture to the Apple icon. He also tweeted what I’m sure a lot of us, including myself, have been thinking since we heard about his death.

“I never thought I could be so busted up about the loss of someone I never met. #stevejobs” Kutcher’s tweet reads.

Wow, does that sentiment cut to the very depth of the souls of Apple devotees worldwide, mine included. Compared to the Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein of our time by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Steve the visionary did indeed leave this world forever changing it for the better in ways we could never have imagined thirty years ago.

With his passion and tenacity for brilliant technology concepts that became the cornerstone of the company he co-founded with Steve Wozniak he made our dreams come true. The iMac, iPod, iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad and iOS – to name just a few of the innovations that created whole new categories of tech products and gadgets under Jobs creative leadership. Let’s not forget, too, that he was the genius behind the Powerbook, the world’s first lap top, and the Macintosh series of innovative desktop computers.

With all that he accomplished publicly, it’s easy to forget that he had a private life, too. Sadly, Steve Jobs was a father of four children and wife that all survive him. This dad and husband definitely did his family proud as well as the entire world’s technology marketplace.

What made him tick and what inspired this tech wunderkind to give so much of himself to inspire multiple generations of technology users? Will Apple die without it’s beloved leader? The answer, the legacy Steve leaves us with is that we need to pick up the ball, ignore the naysayers and continue reaching for the stars in the name of progress.

“Your time is limited,” Steve Jobs once said. “So don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

What Apple innovations have made your life more enjoyable or efficient at work or play? Do you think the Apple dream died with Steve or will it live on into the future? Please leave a comment to share your thoughts and memories.