I've just heard about Steve Jobs passing a few hours ago - it was shocking news to hear.

Apple lost its leader today, but more importantly, the world has lost a very special individual. Steve Jobs has been a monumentally important business leader in American history, among Henry Ford or Thomas Edison. Steve has been a real-life phenomenon of an order that most people won't get to experience in their lifetimes.

Steve had the intelligence, insight, courage and leadership to propel Apple from near-bankruptcy in the late 1990s to where it stands today, as the world’s largest and most valuable company.

Steve created a new culture of thought at Apple. Apple would no longer be a company that followed the competition in well defined markets; Apple, through its revolutionary product design, would define the market categories that it would compete in. Subsequently, Apple revolutionized the music industry with iPod and iTunes, dominated the smartphone market with the iPhone and practically created the tablet computer market with the iPad.

But I’m not here to speak on Apple’s market capitalization or business achievements. I am here to remember a man who followed a unique path in business and in life. Not only was Steve able to follow his gut instinct with no hesitation, he also possessed an innate ability to deeply inspire those around him to create and contribute.

Steve Jobs had a personal net worth of more than 8.3 billion USD when he passed, but you couldn’t peg him as your typical billionaire if you had passed him on the street. Instead, Steve was warm and personable to those who knew him in person. He would never pass up the chance to stop and take a few minutes to catch up and exchange a few ideas. Steve was a person who truly believed in the meritocracy of thought.

I could go on, but my words simply can’t do this man justice, so I’ll leave you with his. Goodbye Steve, and thank you for all the memories.

- Adrian

“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

- Steve Jobs, 114th Stanford University Commencement Ceremony Address, June 12, 2005
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