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Jobs’ Legacy for the Creative Class

October 9, 2011

10/10/11 Never in history has the death of a CEO made such an impact in American lives. While the top broadcasting channels interrupted the evening’s regular scheduled programs, 90 seconds after Twitter friends broadcasted the passing Steve Jobs, I was driven to share a tribute to a man who lead the way for creatives like me giving us the opportunity to develop careers past generations could not comprehend. Apple, the leading company Jobs founded and grew into an epic juggernaut in technology, retail, manufacturing, media and music updated its homepage with a simple image that marked the life of Steve Jobs and an era of innovation that impacted the world.

As I am deeply saddened by the death of this important figure in my life, my emotions run deeper with encouragement. Steve’s leadership allowed for humanity to evolve starting with a mainframe that was once as large and distant to the common man as the moon or the tallest building in the world. He transformed the Goliath technologies into devices so intimate that I could hold the technology in my hand and form relationships with others across the globe. For this I am grateful.
(Caption: MIT´s Whirlwind 1951, photo credit

A visionary who could transform technology into a new world of emerging industries from dropping out of college and tinkering in his garage has brought new careers to creative souls throughout the world. Starting from Apple II and the “Lemonade Stand” in grade school he started to make an impact on education as I learned about economics and entrepeurship while playing a computer game in the 1970s. Now that there are more than 10 million creative professionals currently employed in the United States, Steve leaves the creative class a legacy of leadership and innovation worthy of pursuit. 


Steve’s ability to make an impact proved to be relentless. Who will now take the wheel and drive innovation forward? Innovation with passion, dedication, ethics and leadership like Steve Jobs is what it takes to make a difference that is necessary to change the economy, education and community.

Steve’s timeline was rich, resolved and represented his hunger for the next big thing. He wasn’t distracted by insecurity or greed to measure his success. A man so progressive, rather than whining over the competition stealing his ideas, he created new ideas and improved products some with the purpose to help protect the creative community.

Like most announcements Apple showcases on its homepage, including their iMacs, iPhones, iTunes, iPods, iPads, they cannot be described by any language known by man. The products must be experienced to be understood. The products are as mysterious as the their names and within days or weeks after they are announced, they enter into the homes and become part of our casual vernacular. Today’s image and message shown on Apple’s homepage is as powerful. The image is as elegant and simple as any of the products Apple has ever announced. That dash between the numbers? Those 56 years represent the richness of choices, goals, lessons and character of one person’s life. A creative genius who made impact and became an innovator and an all-American change agent. That dash inspires me to be more. 

I want to be like Steve. I’m restless with a passion to not only be innovative and creative, but to make an impact on jobs, industries, community and my family. I want the line in between to represent something meaningful.

May we all aspire to live our purpose as we were uniquely designed. Long live Steve Jobs and his legacy to the creative class.  

Contributed by Andrea Cook


One Response to “ Jobs’ Legacy for the Creative Class ”

  1. Andrew on October 10, 2011 at 9:14 am

    It is truly a good thing that every generation seems to have a particular Icon to draw on.

    Let us not forget however that Apple didn’t start with the MacIntosh — and further that it was founded by three people. Without the Apple-I, the company would have not had money to continue to where it is today. The company then had a different spirit that the most tried and true revisionist cannot change.

    To have passion is an admirable thing, but can be dangerous when it falls out of balance. There is a small subtitle on my nameplate outside my cubicle that reads “De studio perfectionis immitem”, which was a spin on the Lexus slogan. Translated: “The Ruthless pursuit of Perfection”. It was a joke on myself — that became a warning.

    Today something that the younger generation doesn’t seem to grasp is that the business world is made of people. Passions — and ego’s must be kept in check. This was one of the smaller demons that Steve Jobs admitted he had and fought with. To take his life as an example — should also include the lessons learned. One must first be rooted and then reach to new directions–because without this one is drifting.

    At the end of the day one must remember the last lesson Steve Jobs learned “Memento mori”–Which is that we will eventually pass from this world. Success as an individual isn’t necessarily going to be judged how how many products produced–but rather how we lived and worked with other. For any spiritual person or indeed believer — this must really take first place.