Most people would agree that Steve Jobs is probably the greatest entrepreneur who ever lived, and the greatest tech innovator of our times. The company he founded, Apple, is the most valuable company in the world, with a market value today of nearly $750bn. Now this is more than twice the size of the South African economy, and almost a third of the GDP of the whole of continental Africa!
Apple is a phenomenal company, and will no doubt be amongst the top contenders for the first “trillion-dollar company” (expected within five years).
Steve Jobs died in 2011 at age 56, after contracting a very aggressive form of cancer. As one of the richest men in the world, he tried every possible cure that medical science had at the time, including experimental drugs; it all failed.
A friend recently shared with me something he was supposed to have said just before he died. I say “supposed” because when you read something on the Internet you have to be cautious about its authenticity. Please read these touching words with that in mind, and may I be forgiven if it is not true. It is important wisdom nonetheless.
Words attributed to Steve Jobs, before he died:
“I have come to the pinnacle of success in business. In the eyes of others, my life has been the symbol of success. However, apart from work, I have little joy. Finally, my wealth is simply a fact to which I am accustomed.
At this time, lying on the hospital bed and remembering all my life, I realize that all the accolades and riches of which I was once so proud, have become insignificant with my imminent death. In the dark, when I look at green lights, of the equipment for artificial respiration and feel the buzz of their mechanical sounds, I can feel the breath of my approaching death looming over me.
Only now do I understand that once you accumulate enough money for the rest of your life, you have to pursue objectives that are not related to wealth. It should be something more important: For example, stories of love, art, dreams of my childhood.
No, stop pursuing wealth, it can only make a person into a twisted being, just like me. God has made us one way, we can feel the love in the heart of each of us, and not illusions built by fame or money, like I made in my life, I cannot take them with me. I can only take with me the memories that were strengthened by love. This is the true wealth that will follow you; will accompany you, he will give strength and light to go ahead.
Love can travel thousands of miles and so life has no limits. Move to where you want to go. Strive to reach the goals you want to achieve. Everything is in your heart and in your hands.
What is the world’s most expensive bed? The hospital bed. You, if you have money, you can hire someone to drive your car, but you cannot hire someone to take your illness that is killing you. Material things lost can be found. But one thing you can never find when you lose: life…
Whatever stage of life where we are right now, at the end we will have to face the day when the curtain falls.
Please treasure your family love, love for your spouse, love for your friends… Treat everyone well and stay friendly with your neighbors.”
When I had my team try to find the original source of this quote, they came back and said they couldn’t confirm when these words were said by Steve Jobs and that many reports said they weren’t. I then asked myself, “Does this take away from this profound message about the things that matter most?”
Author: Strive Masiyiwa