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my thoughts on Steve:

By the Way, What Have You Done That’s So Great?
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1. Unrelenting attention to detail.

2. Impeccable taste.

3. Indefatigable passion.

4. Absolute conviction.

5. Unwavering vision.

6. Boundless curiosity.

7. Mercurial motivator.

One or two of these will help you make a living.

Three or four of these will make you successful.

Four of five of these will make you a legend.

Five or six of these will make you iconic for all time.

All seven will make you Steve Jobs.

What Steve taught us was that all of the world's problems, and all the problems that lie within us, are surmountable. All we have to do is find something we love doing each day, surround ourselves with like-minded people and put all of our effort into that one thing at all times.

For Steve, "do what you love" seemingly came easy, but we all know that was not the case. We'll obsess about the insurmountable challenges Steve fought through as we try to resolve who this person was and why he meant so much to us.


Critics will obsess over his flaws as a way to reconcile the loss, saying he didn't give enough to charity. Or that he was abrasive, or perhaps even abusive, in some personal interactions.

Perhaps he made someone cry.

Who among these critics, and among us, hasn't been abrasive or made someone else cry, I wonder?

These issues are only mentioned because they allow our feeble brains to reconcile that one person could so handily outproduce, outclass and outlive -- in 56 short and epic years -- all of us.

Of all the amazing things Steve said, the one that will always stick with me, was a quip in a 2 a.m. email to one of the meaningless critics, from one of the many meaningless publications that traffic in cynicism, criticism and hate in the name of pageview growth -- and that most of us subject ourselves to daily.

"By the way, what have you done that’s so great?
Do you create anything, or just criticize other's work
and belittle their motivations?”
-- Steve Jobs

When I read that quote, it immediately reminded me of my favorite speech from any film I've ever seen:

In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read.

But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new.

The world is often unkind to new talents, new creations. The new needs friends.

Last night, I experienced something new; an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking, is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto, 'Anyone can cook.'

But I realize — only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau's, who is, in this critic's opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau's soon, hungry for more."

-- Anton Ego, "Ratatouille"

Ratatouille final taste

I'm absolutely convinced that Steve wrote that speech as a subversive eff-you to the critics whom he knew would have to sit there with their kids and realize that their careers were, in fact, meaningless when compared to those of the creators. That the only hope critics have in salvaging their disposable careers is to "support the new."

"Here's to the crazy ones," the best commercial he ever produced -- and yes, infinitely more important than "1984," the "greatest commercial of all time" -- is the bookend to Anton's speech.

In this unaired version, Steve does the narration.

Apple Steve Jobs The Crazy Ones - NEVER BEFORE AIRED 1997

In his reading, we feel his unrelenting attention to detail, impeccable taste, indefatigable passion, absolute conviction, unwavering vision, boundless curiosity and, yes, his mercurial motivation tactics.

Steve challenged us to think different and to create.

When all the iPads and iPhones pile up in the garbage heaps, as he predicated in "Wall-E," and when all the innovations are no longer innovative, and when all the criticism is long forgotten, that is what we will remember.

To think different.

To support the new.

To be crazy.

To never accept the status quo.

And to push the human race forward.

We love you, Steve.

@jason
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22 comments
 
3 Apples changed the world, the one that Eve eat, the one fall on Newton head, and the one and Steeve has build. R.I.P my dear Steeve
 
Wonderful post there, +Jason Calacanis. I love the line, "All seven will make you Steve Jobs." True that. We'll likely never see someone like him again in our lifetimes.
 
Great post. Echo your thoughts and absorbed by the collective loss we all share.
 
Probably one of the best tribute pieces I've read on him. Steve Jobs is an inspiration to us all.
 
Well done. Thank you for sharing.
 
Very well done, sir. As an Apple enthusiast and father, your references resonated with me. +100,000.
 
Nice post Jason - been reading them all day long and yours was the one I took a moment to savor - thanks...
 
I don't think I can + this post enough.
 
You've written exactly what I was hoping to read. Beautiful. And thank you.
 
Great post, Jason. I'm currently in the process of watching Ken Burns' Frank Lloyd Wright documentary and the parallels are eerily similar. One person even said Wright took the back window out of his Lincoln Continental because he said, "I never look back. Only forward."
 
Fabulous post! What I like to remind people about the most is that he was a college drop out! I work at a major research university and everyone is always blathering on and on about the fact that I don't have a degree while most of the Ph.Ds on this campus can't figure out how to use a light switch. A piece of paper is not an automatic qualifier.
 
I love this +Jason Calacanis even though you criticized Apple's recent moves with patents and closed systems, you did not criticize the man... I only hope I could manage at least 3-4 of the 7 Steve Jobs traits. Mr Jobs has raised and created new standards that the new generation have to meet, exceed and take down.
 
Waww...yesterday nigh I was making a comment as yours to somebody that was making a negative argument about Steve Jobs, for his charity side??? (For my understanding nobody know nothing about this subject and really really I don't care about it...I know so many people which they give the money only for the ego and press and don't forget the tax)...well... after trying to answer to this person and write and write..I decide to delete everything that I wrote, because this person doesn't worth it...So...with your comment and sharing the same feeling and point of view...here we go! Thanks for your words and the respect!
 
Será que haverá continuidades com a competência tecnológica do Steve? Acho realmente ele nos deixará com muitas saudades.
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Some items in that list are redundant. If you want to be a success in America, you must have 1) Talent, 2) Work Ethic, and 3) an appetite for risk. ALL of these are required for success. Not two; three. 
 
"The great ones weren't fond of rules. " I wonder if the architect of iTunes ever expected his employees to follow rules while trying to coax greatness from them. 
 
Bem! Entendo muito pouco de tua lingua. Sei muito sobre os assuntos q leio em jornais e revistas, em meu idioma. Valeu por comentar a minha opinião e dar a tua. taí! Gostei de vc. Boa sorte e continue fazendo op q gosta com muito carinho. Bjks.
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