Steve Jobs and Prog POC

Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, has passed away at 56.   It is a loss for technology, our nation, the planet.  He was a brilliant, complicated, demanding, visionary human.  He changed the world.

And what, you might say, does that have to do with people of color?  Here is what I connected to in Jobs and how reading interviews with and about him, watching film of his early and later days and studying the world’s reaction to him helped protect and propel me as a powerful women of color in a not-always-embracing world.

Defying societal expectations.  An adopted college dropout goes on to found a seminal company, lead change in technology and reinvent the way we interact with computers, music, information and each other.  Where you come from does not determine where you will go.

Eyes on the ever-expanding prize.  I will never forget when Jobs was fired from the company he’d co-founded and charismatically led to cultural, if not commercial, prominence.  He went on to launch Pixar, back to Apple, on to unbelievable victories.  It is one thing to be told no.  It is another to be told wait longer.  It is another to believe you have reached your actualized pinnacle and have someone take it away from you.  It is another thing – it is the only thing – to keep believing and achieving after that occurs…only to realize there is no fixed pinnacle.  Some may have wanted us to stop at emancipation, at voting rights, at civil rights…at a Black president.  There is no fixed pinnacle.

Triumphing through vilification.  By all accounts, including, later, his own, Jobs had a deeply critical streak.  He didn’t suffer even quasi-geniuses lightly.  For all of his vision, his greatest reputation as Apple’s leader was as a difficult, some have said mean/condescending/belittling perfectionist.  But what is to be said if that perfectionism yielded the iMac, iTunes, iPod the iPad?  And what must be remembered about his ultimate ownership of his superiority complex and the humility and ultimate inspiration being fired and resurrecting himself brought him?  Victory is not for those who strive to be liked but for those who strive to be great.  To be definitive.  Do not be distracted by armchair naysayers – particularly those blogging about you from the iconic hardware you shepherded into creation.  Great dreams are not built by protecting the fearful but by empowering the visionary.

Yes, Jobs left a mark on every community, to some degree.  What a legacy!  But I work in entertainment and am mindful that singles downloads in the music business changed an entire business model and wiped out an industry.  And that opened the door for hip-hop not only to become the world’s pop music…but for hip-hop artists truly to become independents.  To reach audiences, and expand creatively, and own their work and build empires.  One industry that remains elusive to people of color built the platform that unleashed greatness in other people of color.  What if a hip-hop icon goes on to fund a technology platform a POC has built?  What glorious, full-circle tribute that would be.

Truth be told, I am a PC person.  But, my goodness, I am a Jobs person, too.  R.I.P.

3 Responses to “Steve Jobs and Prog POC”
  1. robinswing says:

    I prsently ow a Nac Book Pro 17, 15 ,Ipad, Itouch and I pod. Just ordered my new IPhone that comes out on the 14th. I met Mr.. Jobs on a flight to Hawaii once. Didn’t realize who he was until I mentioned a problem with her desktop. He gave me his car, got her info and the next say a new desktop was delivered(with an upgraded screen). As far as I am concerned we lost a giant. Rest. In. Peace.

    • dmitcha says:

      Oh, I love that story!!!!!! We lost a giant, indeed, RS.

      I have a MacBook, an iPod Nano and an iPad. I bought the MacBook for site testing; the other two were gifts. I have not gotten into the Apple experience, but I resoundingly got behind Jobs.

%d bloggers like this: