Even though for many years I worked with (and often preferred) Windows-based computers, it was Steve Jobs' Apple IIe that first inspired me to focus my career on IT. So, I found his death left a kind of void that I doubt will ever be filled - at least in my lifetime. I received this email from the president of the Ayn Rand Institute and I thought he voiced what many of us current and former IT people are feeling today.
WASHINGTON--Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged lionizes the great wealth creators--the men and women whose thought, creativity, and drive has lifted mankind from the cave to the glistening skyscrapers of New York City. As the president of the Ayn Rand Institute, I regularly speak about Atlas and there is one living person who, more than anyone else, I reference as embodying those traits: Steve Jobs. The news that Jobs is no longer with us leaves me truly heartbroken.
What Jobs has always represented to me is someone who devoted his life to creating great values--who pursued his own vision, his own dreams, his own happiness. The results of his life's work are truly astounding: the Apple II, the Macintosh, Pixar, the iPod, iTunes, the iPhone, the iPad, and much, much more. He set out to change the world. He succeeded, and by all accounts took deep joy in his career and his achievements. He deserved it.
Ever since I heard the news that Steve Jobs died, a certain passage from Atlas Shrugged keeps running through my head, although only readers of the novel will understand the full impact of the scene.
Toward the end of the novel, when heroine Dagny Taggart is reunited with several men she had thought she would never see again, she says that the meeting is like a childhood dream "when you think that some day, in heaven, you will see those great departed men whom you had not seen on earth, and you choose, from all the past centuries, the great men you would like to meet."
One of the men replies: "And if you met those great men in heaven . . . There's something you'd want to hear from them. [Y]ou'd want them to look at you and to say, 'Well done.'. . . All right, then. Well done, Dagny!"If there were a heaven, filled with the great men of history, I have no doubt that they would say, "Well done, Steve Jobs." - Yaron Brook, President, Ayn Rand Institute