"Tonight, America lost a genius who will be remembered with Edison and Einstein..." said NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. What can I say? I have never been able to fathom the value of two minutes of silence to honor a person who died. I have always felt the need to do something active to honor the person; pray, give charity or talk well of the departed one. Yet this time, having just received the news of Steve Jobs' passing away, I don't feel like saying or writing anything at all. So many people will have so much to say, because he was a man who touched the lives of so many and transformed more than one industry more than once. Yet when I think of what I would like to say, I feel like saying nothing at all but saluting Steve in the silent vacuum of loss that his tragic passing has left.
I didn't know Steve Jobs, and yet we all knew him so well and interacted with him vicariously through our computers, iPhones, iPods and iPads often hundreds of times a day. We knew the way he thought about the world, about technology, about design. Of course Apple wasn't created by one man....but Apple and its products radiated the soul and vibrant verve of one man: Steve Jobs.
Steve will continue to live in our minds and our hearts for many years. We will continue to interact with him as we did before. People interact energetically, not only physically; and energetic relationships transcend the barriers of time and geography. We will feel Steve's soul and his presence in our hands, our ears and on our desks. But he will no longer be there to sustain the growth and development of Apple. That responsibility falls to a new generation of leaders ably headed by Tim Cook. Tim and his team will need to go deep into their own souls to find the new corporate soul of Apple, a corporate soul as authentic to them as Apple's soul until now has been to Steve. The authenticity of soul that has infused all of Apple's people, process and product up until now has been the foundation of its phenomenal success, and its new soul must be equally authentic. It must be a soul that is a natural progression from what was before and yet one that reflects who Tim and his team are at the very core of their own essences.
We feel for Steve's family and for all at Apple. Tonight we grieve a man who changed the world and showed each one of us what one person can do if he or she has a mission, passion and a dedicated, brilliant and competent team. In a world of cheap commodities and abundant imitation, Steve stood uncompromisingly for a premium product designed and delivered with unrivaled innovation. In a world that values only quantity, Steve relentlessly strove for quality. Steve never followed, he led. He never asked the market what it wanted. He imagined, created, communicated, charmed, and led the market to places it could never have known without him. We miss you already, Steve. Rest in peace: you've earned it.