By Brian Dann
I remember the day John Lennon died. December 8th 1980, I was watching Johnny Carson and in the middle of his monologue NBC news broke in with a special report. It was at a time when Lennon was experiencing a resurgence in his career. Double Fantasy was just about to be released literally the next day, and the music contained on that vinyl disk was some of the best he had ever produced. Double Fantasy became an instant classic and the sense of loss that the world felt collectively was palpable everywhere you looked. The loss of a creative genius who had so much more to give to the world and the knowing that there was so much more we would never see or hear from this icon was almost impossible to believe. We were grateful for what he had given us, for how he changed the face of music and the impact he had on our lives. And here we are again.
Like Lennon, the loss of Steve Jobs is almost impossible to comprehend. But unlike Lennon, the scale in which the creative mind of Steve Jobs has impacted all of our lives in so many different ways, is almost inconceivable. To imagine what the world would be like today without the creative genius of Jobs is to imagine a world in which you could not read this in the way that you are right now, a world in which music, like Lennon's Imagine, could not be listened to in the way that it is, a world in which computers are not personal, windows are only things we look through, and a phone is something that you only make phone calls on. Jobs legacy was not the material things that he gave this world, it is the fact that not only could he imagine these things, but he could then inspire those around him to join in his vision, to care about the people that he was creating for, to show us that dreams can become reality, that one person can make a difference, that we all have the ability to change the world. Jobs showed us that if you follow your heart, trust in yourself, then it doesn’t matter what Wall Street, investors, marketing analyst, or anyone else thinks, like a Field of Dreams, if you build it, they will come.
Steve Jobs was part of a club that only few belonged. Jobs was to technology, what Gutenberg was to the printing press, what Einstein was to science, what Ford was to the manufacturing, what Bell was to communication, what the Wright Brothers were to aviation, what Disney was to animation. He had the vision of Edison, the creativity of Da Vinci, and the spirit of Lennon. He showed us all what it was like to imagine, he showed us that it’s easy if you try, and you may say he’s a dreamer, but he showed us that he’s not the only one. To steal a quote I saw on Nightline, “If heaven doesn’t exist, Steve Jobs will invent it.” We are grateful for what he has given us, for how he changed the face of the world, and the impact he had and will continue to have on our lives.