By now you’ve probably read at least one – if not several – tributes to Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple who died yesterday at the way-too-young age of 56.
In case you haven’t, here’s a link to coverage we’ve offered in The Commercial Appeal:
And most, rightly so, have focused on the indelible mark Jobs left on our technological landscape and his myriad contributions to modern life.
But amidst all the acclaim heaped on Jobs as one of the greatest entrepreneurs of all time, I think it’s equally important to remember that he also experienced stunning failures.
Following the hype of his early success with Apple, Jobs was eventually booted from the company he helped establish and it took years before he returned (a brilliant move that catapulted Apple from geekish cult status into the stratosphere of technological revolution).
But the fact is that he did return and Apple became stronger and more relevant as a result.
Displaying a tenacity for innovation, Jobs didn’t let very public flops dampen his entrepreneurial spirit – anyone remember the Cube? How about NeXT?
The thing with Jobs was, he harnessed the power of failure to fuel his greatest successes. He proved that failure isn’t forever while proving himself the epitome of entrepreneurship. Learning from past mistakes, Jobs refused to surrender to self-pity or allow resentment to cloud his creative genius.
Without exception, every successful entrepreneur I’ve interviewed has been quick to point out that failure is often the best teacher and that it’s usually a pretty good motivator.
Jobs embodied that spirit.
And because he did, Jobs has been and will remain an inspiration for untold generations of entrepreneurs.
Beyond his technological innovations, perhaps that will be his greatest legacy of all.