Perhaps the greatest piece of advice Steve Jobs would want us all to embrace would be this: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish."
Those words, the closing parting of his 2005 Stanford commencement address, best embody a life well-lived, of striving beyond the status quo, of daring to innovate at the risk of failure.
"When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: 'If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right,' he said in his speech. "It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something."
Jobs, 56, died Wednesday after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer. His death comes several weeks after he officially stepped down as Apple's CEO, a position from which he transformed the struggling tech company into one of the most powerful in the world.
"Steve's brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives," Apple's board said in a statement. "The world is immeasurably better because of Steve."
From iPods to iPads to digital entertainment and computing, Jobs' relentless passion to make technology a companion in our daily lives is evident in nearly every bit and byte around us.
"The world has lost a visionary," President Barack Obama said in a statement. "And there may be no greater tribute to Steve's success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented."
"The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come," commented Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. "For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it's been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely."
"Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend," wrote Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. "Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you."
If you have your own memories, condolences, or thoughts to share, Apple is accepting emails at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can watch Steve Jobs' full commencement address below, but let me leave you as well with this quote from the man.
"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. 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."
RIP Steve — and thank you.