This is a guest post by Hunter Walk (@hunterwalk), Director of Product Management at Google.
I’m fairly certain Steve Jobs wouldn’t be satisfied hearing about how your IIe was the gateway to a life in programming. Or your retweet of “.” Or your Facebook profile pic changing to a screenshot of the Apple.com memorial homepage. I never met the man but my sense is that memorializing him in only this fashion would be viewed as insufficient. After 56 years of thinking differently, our gift back to Steve Jobs cannot stop at viral videos. If the only lasting change to your life is your Twitter icon becoming a sad Mac you aren’t doing Steve Jobs justice.
The Internet, and humanity in general, tends to get passionate for short bursts. Then we exhaust ourselves and move on to the latest outrage, hashtag or debate. If you truly believe that Steve Jobs’ life changed yours then let’s use this moment to honor him by re-committing to applying his lessons. Imagine the magnitude of the technology community collectively committing to acting differently going forward — to caring about perfection and detail, to challenging the status quo, to designing beautiful products and tools which empower, to learning from challenges. The result would certainly be a more impactful and lasting than a week of trending topics.
The goal is not for each of us to BE Steve Jobs – “your time is limited. don’t waste it living someone else’s life” was his own advice to Stanford graduates in 2005 – but rather how we can apply his aspirations to our own existence. So let’s spend the next few days publicly declaring what we are going to do to #LiveLikeSteve. Take to Google+, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook or your community of choice. Put yourself out there and make a commitment. Hashtag it #LiveLikeSteve so we can all be inspired by you. And when you follow-through you won’t just be celebrating the life of an amazing man, you’ll be making yourself and the world a better place. Let’s make that Jobs’ final gift to us.
In that spirit, here’s how I intend to #LiveLikeSteve: I’m going to update my organ donor status. I’m going to give money to a Donor’s Choose classroom looking to provide Apple products to their students. This fall I’m going to set aside more time to spend with new entrepreneurs to offer assistance on product design challenges. And I’m going to think hard about what I haven’t yet accomplished in my life and make sure my next 10 years are focused on making those into reality.
How are you going to #LiveLikeSteve?
Image via: Quora