Hearing the news that Steve Jobs had died stopped me in my tracks.  Suddenly the world felt different and I can't help but wonder why the passing of someone I had never met would impact me so profoundly. 

Yes, there is a connection as it was Steve Job's organization that gave my son, Jeffrey Monday, his first job (and only to date as he is still working there) in the business world.  He was the youngest person they had ever hired (just shortly before he graduated from UC Irvine)  as a Sales Executive.  Today he has risen through the ranks from calling on colleges and universities throughout Southern California to working with a prestigious group of Fortune 1000 companies. 

I've watched my son grow into a man during his tenure at Apple.  In his home office is a collection of black and white pictures of the people that inspired Apple's "Think Different".   A legendary list of 17 iconic personalities:  Albert Einstein, Bob Dylan, Martin Luther King, Jr., Richard Branson, John Lennon (with Yoko Ono), Buckminster Fuller, Thomas Edison, Muhammad Ali, Ted Turner, Maria Callas, Mahatma Gandhi, Amelia Earhart, Alfred Hitchcock, Martha Graham, Jim Henson (with Kermit the Frog), Frank Lloyd Wright and Pablo Picasso.  Each one, a remarkable human being who marched to their own drummer and refused to conform, and by do so, changed the world.

Also featured on Jeffrey's wall is Job's ode to "The Crazy Ones":

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.

Maybe they have to be crazy.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

We make tools for these kinds of people.

While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.   Apple Inc.

(This ad, Apple Steve Jobs The Crazy Ones, was never before aired and is narrated by Steve Jobs.)


I'm sure the next time I visit my son, there will be a new legend hanging on his wall, Steve Jobs.  A man who dared to be different in a world where PCs reign by standing at the "intersection of art and technology",  and creating elegant works of art instead of being just another manufacturer of tech products. 

Thank goodness Steve was one of the crazy ones.  His genius, the likes of which will be impossible to match, changed not only the business industry, but the world.  His passing challenges us all to be equally courageous in our ambitions and inspires us to dream big and let nothing stop us in making them come true no matter how crazy or out of reach they may seem.