Oct 11

Remembering Steve

This is the post I hoped I’d never have to write.

You don’t need me to tell you how Steve changed the world. You’ll find a thousand articles on that topic today. If you don’t mind, I’d rather tell you how Steve changed me.

After all of his inventing, leading, pushing and revolutionizing, this may sound simplistic and trite: Steve taught me the importance of doing the right thing.

I’m not even talking about that in the moral sense (though Steve was insistent in that area as well). In business, the right thing is oftentimes obvious — but only rarely is it easy. It can be more expensive, more time-consuming and require extraordinary resolve. For Steve, there simply wasn’t a choice. Right is right. Doing the best job, achieving the highest quality, was non-negotiable.

He proved the value of this principle so many times, I lost count.

Over time, I saw many different shades of Steve — from charming to, shall I say, a bit agitated. Though people projected all kinds of motives onto him, I never had any doubt why he behaved as he did.

He cared.

Steve once famously said, “We’re here to put a dent in the universe.” I think we can all agree, the universe has been properly dented.

If it feels like the world has lost a member of the family, that’s because it has. From his many contributions, most feel like they know him.

So thank you, Steve, for the invention and inspiration. A few hundred million of us are really going to miss you.


When Steve resigned recently, I remixed the old Think different ad as a tribute. It feels so different today given Steve’s passing. See it here if you wish (now with new end frame).

Here’s another version of the original ad — narrated by Steve himself. I wasn’t aware this had ever made it out of the archives. Though the agency recommended this version, Steve didn’t want his presence in the spot to distract from the message. Sorry Steve, but you’re no distraction. (Thanks, Jorge, for pointing this out.)