THE BLOG
10/06/2011 06:19 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2011

By the Way, What Have You Done That's So Great?

1. Unrelenting attention to detail.

2. Impeccable taste.

3. Indefatigable passion.

4. Absolute conviction.

5. Unwavering vision.

6. Boundless curiosity.

7. Mercurial motivator.

One or two of these will help you make a living. Three or four of these will make you successful. Four of five of these will make you a legend. Five or six of these will make you iconic for all time. All seven will make you Steve Jobs.

What Steve taught us was that all of the world's problems, and all the
problems that lie within us, are surmountable. All we have to do is
find something we love doing each day, surround ourselves with
like-minded people and put all of our effort into that one thing at
all times.

For Steve, "do what you love" seemingly came easy, but we all know
that was not the case. We'll obsess about the insurmountable
challenges Steve fought through as we try to resolve who this person
was and why he meant so much to us.

Critics will obsess over his flaws as a way to reconcile the loss,
saying he didn't give enough to charity. Or that he was abrasive, or
perhaps even abusive, in some personal interactions.

Perhaps he made someone cry.

Who among these critics, and among us, hasn't been abrasive or made
someone else cry, I wonder?

These issues are only mentioned because they allow our feeble brains
to reconcile that one person could so handily outproduce, outclass and
outlive -- in 56 short and epic years -- all of us.

Of all the amazing things Steve said, the one that will always stick
with me, was a quip in a 2 a.m. email to one of the meaningless
critics, from one of the many meaningless publications that traffic in
cynicism, criticism and hate in the name of pageview growth -- and
that most of us subject ourselves to daily.

"By the way, what have you done that's so great?
Do you create anything, or just criticize other's work
and belittle their motivations?"

When I read that quote, it immediately reminded me of my favorite
speech from any film I've ever seen:

"In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet
enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves
to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to
write and to read.

"But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand
scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more
meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times
when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and
defense of the new.

"The world is often unkind to new talents, new creations. The new needs friends.

"Last night, I experienced something new; an extraordinary meal from a
singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker
have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking, is a gross
understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have
made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto, 'Anyone
can cook.'

"But I realize -- only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not
everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from
anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of
the genius now cooking at Gusteau's, who is, in this critic's opinion,
nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to
Gusteau's soon, hungry for more."

-- Anton Ego, Ratatouille

I'm absolutely convinced that Steve wrote that speech as a subversive
eff-you to the critics whom he knew would have to sit there with their
kids and realize that their careers were, in fact, meaningless when
compared to those of the creators. That the only hope critics have in
salvaging their disposable careers is to "support the new."

"Here's to the crazy ones," the best commercial he ever produced --
and yes, infinitely more important than "1984," the "greatest
commercial of all time" -- is the bookend to Anton's speech.

In this unaired version, Steve does the narration.

In his reading, we feel his unrelenting attention to detail,
impeccable taste, indefatigable passion, absolute conviction,
unwavering vision, boundless curiosity and, yes, his mercurial
motivation tactics.

Steve challenged us to think different and to create.

When all the iPads and iPhones pile up in the garbage heaps, as he
predicated in Wall-E, and when all the innovations are no longer
innovative, and when all the criticism is long forgotten, that is what
we will remember.

To think different.

To support the new.

To be crazy.

To never accept the status quo.

And to push the human race forward.

We love you, Steve.


Read this editorial on the LAUNCH blog.