You’re reading this on a device either created or inspired by the ideas of Steve Jobs.
How amazing is that?
We could talk for days about his life, his accomplishments, his shortcomings, and how he changed the world. Or how his ideas made technology once reserved for uber-brainiacs and military personnel accessible to regular people. Or how the iPod changed the music industry and created household words like “podcast” and “iTunes.”
But for just a minute, let’s talk about something else.
Remember the first time you saw an Apple computer? I do. It was around 1988, in a computer lab at school. Every week, we’d get to go to the lab, sit down at Macintosh computers, insert floppy disks, and play Number Munchers, O’Dell Lake, or Oregon Trail. It was always my favorite half hour of the week.
In fact, I loved it so much that my parents saved up and bought an Apple II C Plus, our first home computer.
No one probably realized it at the time, but we were witnessing something extraordinary. Yes, Steve Jobs’ ideas changed the computer, music and communications industries.
But Steve Jobs’ ideas also changed the way we learn.
His ideas catalyzed the presence of personal computers, and now iPod and iPad-like devices, in schools. These devices provided us the means to access information — from electronic books to the Internet — changing the way we research, the way we write, the way we collaborate with others.
Steve Jobs was a smart guy. But he probably wouldn’t have been able to build a computer, iPod, or tablet himself. Yet what distinguished him from the pack was this: He might not have been able to do it on the first try — but he would have kept trying. And he would have asked for help.
Steve Jobs’ legacy teaches us that to learn, you don’t need to be abnormally smart. You just have to be persistent, believe in yourself, and know that you can’t always do it on your own.