I’m sure that most of you have heard that Steve Jobs passed away yesterday. To be honest, I was never a big Apple person. I liked their products, don’t get me wrong, but I was never that type of person to check for the latest Apple releases, follow blogs about them, or do back-flips over their latest merchandise. I have a point in saying this. I want to make it clear that I was never an Apple groupie because of what I’m about to say next.
Steve’s passing yesterday had me thinking about the word legacy. Not just the meaning of the word, but how we as individuals impose our own meaning on the term. Like I said, I was never a huge Apple fan like that…but there’s no doubt in my mind that Steve Jobs left a legacy behind him. I think, even if you hated everything that Apple has ever created, you can’t deny that. People go back and forth all the time over why they prefer PC to MAC, why Apple sucks, why Windows sucks, etc., etc. But the fact that people are even having that discussion is case in point to what I’m saying. That in itself is legacy, because that debate will probably continue for years to come.
My blog is about art, comics, and Hip Hop, so I know the question is out there: What does this post have to do with any of that? I think each of us, whether you’re a Hip-Hop artist, a comic book artist, or a technological guru, are trying to build our own legacies. Steve Jobs was only 56 when he died. Fifty-six. That’s pretty young in the grand scheme of things. He co-founded Apple Computer in 1976. That means he built his empire in only 35 years. That might sound like a long time, but think about how old you are, and think about how many times you’ve said to yourself that your childhood seemed like it was only yesterday.
Listen, I’m not saying the guy was a saint. I know he wasn’t, and nobody is. But there’s no denying that Steve Jobs, along with Apple, revolutionized the way we think about music, the way we produce art, and the way that we communicate with each other, and those things will never be the same. One person did that. Imagine the legacy that you can leave behind.
I’m not going to make it a habit to talk about things like this too often in my blog, but I do think that it relates to our respective industries in a very real way. We all want to leave a piece of ourselves behind so that our legacies will continue to grow even after we’re gone. No matter what you think about Steve Jobs or Apple, he accomplished that.
“Remembering you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.” – Steve Jobs