Thursday, November 3, 2011

Beauty and Steve Jobs's Last Words

It probably shouldn't be a surprise that Steve Jobs's final words to us were more of a question than an answer.  Jobs's sister, Mona Simpson stated:  "Steve's final words were: 'Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.'"  

As he lay dying, surrounded by his loved ones, was this a recap of his life or a glimpse of what was ahead of him?  We will never know for sure but, one more time he stimulated our imaginations and reminded us of the beauty of life and death.

His sister said of him, "Novelty was not Steve's highest value.  Beauty was. For an innovator, Steve was remarkably loyal. If he loved a shirt, he'd order 10 or 100 of them. In the Palo Alto house, there are probably enough black cotton turtlenecks for everyone in this church."  In her eulogy, she suggested that her brother’s last words had something to do with his  “capacity for wonderment, the artist’s belief in the ideal, the still more beautiful later.”

Somehow, even though we don't know their precise meaning, his words lift us even as did the products he championed and the courage and eloquence he displayed throughout his life and his walk through the fire of disease.  He will long inspire us.


  1. "Oh, wow" is an enticing last comment. Something along the lines of Henry Ward Beecher's "Now comes the mystery." Thanks for a great reflection on Jobs too early exit from this planet.

  2. Thanks for sharing your eloquence and insights, Joyce.

  3. When I read Jobs's sister's wonderful eulogy a few days ago and came to that last line, my first thought was: imagine what Jobs is seeing as he crosses that threshold: the Ultimate Design.