I went to school at San Jose State University in Silicon Valley in 1975. I was an engineering major who would try to grab time on red beam lasers to make holograms, or sneak more time on the IBM mainframe in the computer lab -- all while maintaining my insane interest in politics.
I guess that's why Steve Jobs meant so much to me. I watched him and was inspired by him from the earliest days as the Silicon Valley we know today was born.
Steve Jobs was the person who made me ask the question "what would change people's lives more? Technology? Or politics?"
I was a hopeless early adopter -- I had to have the Apple Newto-n - but I chose politics as the way to make a difference.
So today I want to say thank you Steve. You changed more lives than any politician in either party in my lifetime.
Steve Jobs' ideology was simple -- innovate and make it better than its ever been done before. Woe is our nation that neither of our two major political parties had such a simple purpose and direction.
In his Stanford commencement speech, Steve Jobs had some advice for the graduates that day that could serve our political discourse today:
"Don't be trapped by dogma -- which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."
America's ideology was once to innovate and make it better than it has ever been done before. Today both parties and our nation's leaders are trapped by dogma.
I have to wonder what life would be like had Steve Jobs chose to change the world through politics? What would the Apple Party be like?
Thank you, Steve Jobs, for the choices you made and the difference you made in my life and in the lives of hundreds of millions.