Thank you for attending our special ceremony marking the life of the man who was perhaps the greatest innovator of our lifetime; it is especially appropriate that we do so here at St. Gregory because we are a school which celebrates innovation and is particularly committed to “creating innovators,” and we want regularly to affirm the excellent work you all do as especially innovative students and thinkers.
Let me also thank all of you who “dressed like Steve” today to mark this day of honor and remembrance.
Steve Jobs was a remarkable innovator; let me highlight three elements of his innovative mindset and practices.
First, in technology, he, more than any other computer designer before or since, reinvented computer technology to serve users– we humans– as user-friendly, intuitive, devices, able and available for discovery and application from the moment you pressed the “on-button,” with no manual required. This was an enormous advance, as I well remember when I opened the box on my first Macintosh in 1984: with the Mac, computers became our devices, rather than we being their devices, it seemed. Jobs continued with extraordinary advances in user-friendly, intuitive use tools such as ipods, iTunes, iPhones, and much more, and revolutionized not just our tools but our very understanding of what it is to develop technology which serves regular, every-day creators and communicators.
Second, no computer inventor has had a finer sense of design and aesthetic appeal; for Steve Jobs, every tool had to be a work of art also, demonstrating extraordinary and exquisite sensibility and sheen. Steve Jobs was a perfectionist, and sometimes a relentless, even obnoxious obsessive: it could be brutal to work for him. But he cared, as you should, deeply about product excellence, and ensuring that our work reflects the most careful craftsmanship possible.
Third, Jobs was an artist too; he had a vision of how technology could be used to create art and tell stories which would otherwise be impossible to be created or told. The films Pixar has created– think of Nemo, Cars, Toy Story, and my favorite, Ratatouille– were genius in this way, and demonstrated again the highest artistic sensibility, all as a result of the vision and passion of Steve Jobs.
Let’s watch together and reflect upon the wisdom and the message of Steve Jobs in this famous speech.
Students, thank you for your attention and for joining me in honoring the life and legacy of Steve Jobs. Join me on stage if you wish to be in our photograph.
Stay Hungry and Stay Foolish.