The Legacy of Steve Jobs

Dear Steve,

It wasn't until my wife called me over last night – “Hey Pat, you gotta come over and see this,” and showed me the article about your passing that I suddenly realized the debt I, and many like me, owe you.  We paused, saddened at the news and understood that without the imprint you made on the world, our lives would be different and truly less than they are.  So thank you for being a dreamer and for realizing your vision.

Although you are most known for your ingenious inventions, it strikes me that in many ways, you lived your life like the quintessential photographer: you changed the world by seeing in your mind's eye the output you had to have.  Some criticized this perfectionism, but I see that in this regard you were truly pre-visualizing.

In a soon to be cult favorite commencement speech to Stanford University in 2005, you insightfully argued that we can never connect the dots looking forward.  Instead, it is only in looking back on our lives that we can connect the dots and see the emergence of the path our destinies have coursed.  Photographically, we might say that we envision the final image, but only in looking at the finished print can we see how all of the ‘problems' we had to deal with and overcome and incorporate into the process of the shot contributed to the unique beauty of that finished print.

So, although clearly the more apparent legacies of yours are the iPod, the iPad, the iPhone, the app store and the personal computer to name a few. Not to mention Aperture and Pixar….:)  Despite these world-changing gadgets, it truly is your vision – the example of your ingenious vision – that is your greatest legacy.

I will close in this note of thanks to you by mentioning one other inspirational bit of advice you put forward in the same speech mentioned above.  You spoke about being “hungry and foolish” in our endeavors.  I will aim to do this in my photography and in my life and will encourage those I love to do the same.

Thank you for imagining – and may you rest in peace.


Patrick Reed and the TWIP community

Post by TWiP Contributor: Patrick Reed