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Here’s to the crazy one

It is said that almost everyone remembers where they were when an icon passes. To understand why Steve Jobs meant so much to this generation, one would have to see why this generation needed a Steve Jobs so desperately. Unless you count Michael Jackson as someone worthy of being an overriding icon, whose fan base transcended continents and generations, but sadly robbed himself of the title with his terrifying and incomprehensible tumble from grace toward the latter part of his life, Steve Jobs was the numero uno icon for this generation.

We like our heroes larger than life. When they give status quo the finger, couple their genius with a tinge of irreverence, and enigmatically change the world in the bargain, they cannot help but breathe rarefied air. For this generation, Gandhi will always remain an ideal. We weren’t around to witness seminal events such as the landing on the moon, the 4-minute mile, or Woodstock (‘69 that is). But thankfully, the digital revolution delivered our generation from inconspicuousness. It occurred at a time in our lives where we understood what was happening, ensuring that we haven’t lived our lives in vain.

For  technology, Steve Jobs was the messiah who led it from debasedness to a thing of beauty. The path he traversed only added to his allure and mystique. In a sense, he lived a life we all want to live, but don’t have the balls to. Drop out of college (every college kid’s fantasy). Travel (every trapped white collared worker’s reverent wish). Drop acid (many have gone this far and no further). And then change the world with the work you do (how embarrassingly we fall short in this endeavor).

Personally, not having owned a single Apple product, penning a tribute maybe akin to travesty. But Steve Jobs touched my life even without me having to own any of his products. His 2005 Stanford speech, where he exalts the value of listening to your heart rather than your head and how life is incomplete without death has served as a bible ever since those words came into being. 

The other was through the Apple ad that was made after being given the reins the second time around (created, incidentally, by one of my other heroes, Lee Clow).   Lee Clow (overlord at TBWA Chiat Day, and advertising’s avatar of Steve Jobs) was given a week to create an ad. The outcome was a tribute, a eulogy, and a testimony, all woven into 60 seconds a brilliance. It was Steve Job’s autobiography, beautifully disguised as a commercial. Read those words. And you would realize why they passed the test.  

‘Here's to the Crazy Ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them.

Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world - are the ones who do.’

Thank you Steve Jobs. For making the world of technology more beautiful in your wake.


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