I learned sadly, that Steve Jobs had passed away, ironically, via a device he had created. As I read through a collection of reactions and statements by a who’s who in the world, I paused to collect my own thoughts on the loss of one of the greats of our time. I was struck by an uncompromising feeling of loss and emptiness, realizing how deeply profound his impact was on myself and millions throughout the world. While his passing was not unexpected, it was still a shock to learn of the finality of the news. Countless words have been stated elsewhere detailing the many contributions he has made to technology, many of which we now take for granted. I was struck by his passion and belief that great design can successfully coexist with great engineering; that independent creative processes can thrive in a world of mediocrity and mundane ‘cookie-cutter’ design; that innovation can disrupt stagnant business models; that positive user experiences with the technologies can create emotional connections; and that minimalism and simplicity can supersede the complexities of people and machines.
These attributes form the intersection of technology and the liberal arts that he quite often professed. This made sense to me. To many businesses and leaders it does not. Being involved in the education technology field, has afforded me great insight and perspective. The current STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) education initiatives form a critical role in our future competiveness and our nation’s economic prosperity. While the mission is clearly stated, executing on the long term plan is challenging and daunting. It is encouraging and fulfilling to be able to influence the lives of those in school with tools of great engineering and design products. With many schools across the country teaching the latest in design, digital prototyping, simulation, animation, testing and deployment from leaders such as Autodesk, National Instruments, Unity and others, I can only hope the next Steve Jobs can emerge from among them.
In closing, and on behalf of Studica, we sincerely express our deepest sympathies at the passing of Steve Jobs; a true leader and visionary example for the youth of today. From the intersection of technology and the liberal arts at Stanford University, his incredible 2005 commencement speech.
Author: Jeff Mazzone