The world lost an incredibly visionary and creative genius today; Steve Jobs passed away.

It’s always sad when somebody passes, but in the case of Steve, although I didn’t know him personally, I feel a need to jot a few thoughts as he has had such a profound impact on my life.

For those of you who know me you’ll know that I’m a huge ‘macevangelist’. Ever since learning to bang out BASIC on the IIE I’ve been hooked. I have owned every major cool Mac device ever invented (except a new iPhone). This includes an original iMac (orange), G3, G4, Powerbook, iPod (several generations), iPad and now an iMac.

Call me crazy but my Apple products have become an extension of myself. To give you a sense of how fanatical I am I once turned down a lucrative job offer because they told me they were a PC-only shop…and I knew we just wouldn’t get along.

Steve taught me a great deal about marketing, business and life. Below are a few notes on things I’ve learned from Steve.

Be Brave

When I think of the word ‘bravery’ Steve immediately comes to mind. He had the cajones to go head-to-head with one of the biggest companies in the world (Microsoft) and not only did he survive, but he beat em’…and he did it while he was battling cancer. It’s a reminder of the courage that one can conjure when needed.

Be Different

Steve taught me that it’s ok to zig while everybody else is zagging. He showed the world that thinking different is an acceptable business strategy and that in some cases is the only business strategy. He built a company that not only talked the talk, but truly walked the walk. That’s rare for any company, but they managed to do it for as long as I can remember.

Design matters

One of the reasons that I loved Apple was that they demonstrated that design matters. Steve proved that people didn’t just want the cheapest crap you could buy. He proved you could build a business around building magical products. It’s refreshing to see a leader who motivated a company to engage in a race to the top.

Sweat the little stuff

Of all the reading I’ve done about Steve it’s clear that he was a stickler for details and quality. I’ve never had a technical problem with any Mac that I’ve owned, and I’ve always been amazed at how every nut and bolt, every sticker, every bit of printed literature looks like they were truly loved. It’s a great lesson that building quality products really can make customers love your company.

Carpe Diem

From Brad Ward’s Facebook post, originally in Steve’s Stanford Commencement Speech:

‎”No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.”

I’ll likely add to this post in the coming weeks, but I wanted to get it out while it was still fresh in my mind.

My heart goes out to Steve and all of those who were close to him. Thanks Steve, for everything.