A PERSONAL REFLECTION
Stories about Steve Jobs, whether in big feats like iphone releases or in small every day news, like market reports on 680, have always caught my attention. I never gave it much thought a few years ago, but what was for sure was my loyalty and love for Apple products. My first Powerbook G4 lasted me a good 6 years, and aided my successful completion of an undergraduate and graduate degree in design fields and first two years of work as a designer. Now on my MacBook Pro and iPhone 4, my life is highly influenced by Apple. The way I communicate is shaped by the innovator and creator of these great things, Mr. Steve Jobs.
I found out about his death yesterday late afternoon, actually via a Weddingbells’ editor’s tweet reading, “RIP Steve Jobs, I heart Apple.” Suddenly my heart felt very heavy and I ceased to be productive, just like all my friends and colleagues it seemed, as everyone paused to tweet or facebook a message of reflection or condolence. When at this scale, the offers of condolences are clearly quite deeply felt, and overwhelmingly genuine. His greatness as a designer, innovator, entrepreneur, CEO, inspiration and more, has transformed the way we work and think. I still remember his address at the Stanford Commencement in 2005 that I first heard when I entered grad school, and one part in particular, as it so adequately and succinctly captured a part of my passion:
“I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating. None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life.
But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. ”
He had my complete attention, because I couldn’t say it any better: typography is beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture.” And he similarly understood the idea of application of what we learn in life: that it is never a waste to learn, as you can apply it to anything you do. At the time, I had just stepped out of the urban planning & design scene and entered into a foreign and yet strangely familiar field of graphic design. It was what I believe I was destined to do, and against all logic, I had to follow what felt right with the heart. That is when I also opened my first business as a custom stationer and graphic designer, and began a challenging but meaningful journey.
So by the end of last night, all of my friend’s facebook feeds were posting perhaps the most memorable lines from his commencement address. It stuck with me all night, as I consider plans for 2012 and beyond, and the vision and direction for PALETTERA. I fell asleep thinking about it, dreamt about it and woke up with some new priorities, as there have been some projects that I planned for and never got around to just yet. I was always waiting to see when the right time was, but the only time is now.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Steve Jobs.
Not only will these words inspire a generation, but even in his death, I believe he leaves us with much to strive for. When someone fulfils their life purpose and their outpour of passion into their work becomes so iconic, it leaves an empowering legacy. Will we all die with legacies?