Jeremy, our COSI web master, feels that Thursday should have been a national day of mourning with the passing of Steve Jobs---I agree. But maybe for a different reason.
As I’ve noted in my blog before, I “grew up” professionally with Apple Computer, serving in various consultant capacities for and with Apple Computer. I have a great affinity for the company and the genius of the two Steve’s who founded it—Wozniak and Jobs. So even though it was clear that this day would be coming sooner than we wanted, having Steve Jobs pass away is something I’m feeling very personally.
But I’m worried about his loss in a much bigger way.
I’ve had the privilege of telling John Glenn personally how his flight almost 50 years ago in the Mercury capsule was incredibly inspiring to me. He and his contemporary astronauts and the engineers and scientists enabling their work lit the fire in me and sustained my interest in science and technology.
My one son-in-law has shared that his inspiration to pursue science and engineering and a career as a Navy pilot came in part by the examples and efforts of our shuttle astronauts.
Steve Jobs was not only an inspiration to many people in a personal way, but he created a company that was uniquely inspiring in its products, and even its core essence. Millions of people, like myself, have been faithful to Apple through thick and thin because of the inspirational aspirations of Apple to make a difference in our lives.
Jobs had a confidence bordering on arrogance, that served him, and us well, when combined with a unique combination of vision, skill and talents that created whole new conceptual applications of technology. He didn’t design to focus groups, he designed to the future and then helped the rest of us see that future that was easier, more powerful, more systemic, and even sexy in its design elegance.
So Jobs, interestingly, was inspiring not just personally but through the products and systems created by Apple. I know of no other corporate leader currently able to match that ability to inspire our public. And in my concern, our youth.
As the shuttles are decommissioned, as the John Glenns are not matched in our modern era, and as we lose Steve Jobs, we are losing more and more singular individuals and endeavors that broadly inspire youth to pursue match, science, and technology. Places like COSI leverage those inspirations and add our own, more modest ones. With Jobs passing we’ve lost an important arrow in our inspiration quiver.
Steve, you will be missed in so many ways.
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