Yes, Steve Jobs is gone, and it felt sudden; I was completely unprepared. The news came to me on the 11 p.m. news, and I immediately logged onto Twitter to see what had happened. There it was, Jobs died – two hours ago. I sat quietly in the dark, illuminated only by my computer screens, watching the news feed up through Twitter. An hour or two clicked by and I saw the raw emotional reaction moment by moment on the Web.
Shock. Grief. Longing. Acceptance.
I don’t know how to express the loss to the technology community except to say that it would be similar (maybe) to Mick Jaggar dying for the rest of the world. A hero is gone.
Beside the loss of an amazing technical mind and innovative spirit, Jobs was willing to be the hero to two generations of technologists who were fighting to disrupt the entire world with the principles of automation, integration and information flow. We needed someone to succeed in order to show us the way, and give us hope that someday the ideas would succeed.
We all had a hard job to do. It started in the 1980s and the first few years were incredibly difficult. People said we were all crazy because they thought things would never change and that their ignorant attitude would eventually cause us to stop trying.
It wasn’t the most rewarding career back then, but we had an edge: we had heroes to show us the way. They taught us how to add enough marketing flair to sell our ideas and how to change the game by being so wildly different that people had to take notice. Our heroes were Jobs, Gates, Brinn, and a handful of others who made being a nerd as cool as being a rock star.
But our heroes, one by one, are disappearing. They are retiring, dying, and being ousted by their boards. Will innovation in computing fall to a corporate structure? Will we have micro-improvements that can pass a board review instead of sweeping, disruptive innovation? I am worried, cold with fear, that we are losing the pioneering spirit of technology one hero at a time.
We need new heroes –a young generation of game changers — we already have Zuckerberg, and to round out the ranks I am posting a job opening for New Heroes right here in this column.
Wanted: Technology Hero. Multiple openings available.
The successful candidate must be more brilliant than cocky. Personality attributes include humility at the proper times, with incredible aggressiveness at the correct times as well. Must be unstoppable in the face of soul crushing adversity.
Prior experience/education is not a requirement for this position. We are more interested a candidate who brings breakthrough ideas to the table, has a clear vision for the future of technology and how it integrates into the daily lives of people both at home and in the workplace, and is willing to accept the mantle of fame on behalf of the army of developers that they inspire.
Daily activities will include: Transforming average people into digerati, inspiring innovation beyond your own inventions, rising above ignorance and opposition, continually proving that innovation is a personal vision that can’t be qualified by board/committee votes, and saving us from ourselves.
If you feel you meet these qualifications, please start work today. No interview required.
Marci De Vries is president of MDV Interactive, a web consulting firm in Baltimore. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.