Almost three years ago to the day I started a journey with a goal in mind (my sister reminds me) and that was to learn how to make apps for the iPhone. I enrolled in a Masters Degree in Digital Media at the University of Newcastle and started that journey with gusto.
I finished this year in April and should have attended my graduation today, but a bout of Whooping Cough saw me homebound playing nurse to a partner who kept blacking out momentarily for lack of oxygen, but that is another story.
Then last Friday the 30th of September I remembered that goal after a bit of a crappy year all round, I enrolled in an iPhone development course at RMIT University in Melbourne, realising I was now ready to take on an Objective Oriented Programming language – specifically iOS for iPhone and iPad.
This brings me to last night when after the announcement that the iOS5 SDK kit had become avaialble to developers and I went immediately to the Dev Centre and logged in to find my Dev ID had expired and I had to re-enrol to gain access. So this morning when I woke up I was feverishly excited to see if my certificate had been provided and sure enough it was.
Logging in and starting to download all of the lovely exciting new software I needed to really start my journey, the news hit me via my Corporate Email account on an iPhone.
A terrible fog filled my mind. I have lost my closest loved ones earlier this year which remains painful to talk about, and yet this still felt like a profoundly dark moment.
I turned to Twitter. It crashed, I went to Google and even it produced an error momentarily – it was then I knew it was real and everyone was talking about it.
At work, being in social media for Telstra, meant that I had to work with senior managers across the business and we coordinated a response from our CEO, David Thodey, on our facebook page as well as posting the a quote to Twitter to resounding positive response.
The message gave me a real sense of pride in what we do and it felt right at the time.
I’ve been following the news and updates and reading all the news on every site I stumble across, some are profound, most are incredibly respectufl and just about every heavyweight in social media I can think of weighed in on it in some way.
This was particularly powerful; as Guy Kawasaki – notably one of the most influential people on Twitter – was preparing to go on stage at the SocialMediaExaminer.com for his presentation at the Facebook Success Summit 2011 he heard the news and verified it on CNN.com.
With ten minutes to go, he changes his speech and talks passionately about his journey with Apple and what it meant to him. A true credit to thinking on his feet and not sounding cheesey at all.
Mark Zuckerberg paid his respectes on facebook with a respectful and personal message for the world to see.
Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you.
Everyone referenced his Stanford University commencement speech on TED Talks titled How to live before you die – and if you haven’t seen this and want to really understand the essence of why I think Steve Jobs was such an inspiration then you should watch it now.
People across the world stood up and paid their respects and it was quite a remarkable thing to watch unfold and be a part of across all of the innovative devices that Steve created and leaves as his legacy in this world – iPhone, iPad and MacBook Pro.
Apple published a memoriam themselves giving fans a place to pay their respects.
And so I found myself feeling particularly serendipitous and somehow optimistic when I read this article on IT News article by Nate Cochrane titled Vale Steve Jobs: World’s greatest failure.
Not what it sounds like, but a great headline I read on and discovered how his greatest failures indeed lead him to his greatest successes. NeXT was a stunning failure that led to greater success and eventually OS X, and so on.
For me at that point, I realised I didn’t consider my Degree all that succesful, I hadn’t learned how to make games for the platform and if anything I just discovered that I am not really a terrific digital artist of any sorts. Some sort of jack of all trades and master of none.
But this news, this article, this turn of events just cemented my determination to never give up and follow my dreams to the end.
I still want to follow my passion for computing, programming & gaming and start developing games & apps for the iPhone & iPad as soon as possible, just like I said I would when I started this adult learning journey a long time ago.
Steve would want me to. It’s the right thing to do.
He never gave up even through terrible illness and, I imagine excruciating pain and treatments, he kept going and giving us incredible keynote speeches and producing the products and innovations that surround us at home.
And so tonight I finished this sad sad day with a ‘pledge post’ of sorts, on the Apple Dev forum introducing myself and telling this story (seriously condensed) as a way of reminding myself exactly what I must never forget.
Never give up on your dreams, and failure – spectacular or extraordinary – only leads to greater successes.
Vale Steve Jobs. RIP.