Steve Jobs leaves a legacy of changed lives

greg_gazin and steve jobs

October 5th, 2011 will truly go down as a sad day in history. It’s a day when the world lost an incredible human being, a creative mind and an inspiration to the world. We lost a person whose creations and actions have not only revolutionized an industry, but also impacted the lives of many people around the world along the way, including me.

Meeting Steve Jobs

I had the great fortune of meeting Steve Jobs in February 1986 at a joint conference of ACE/YEO(Association of Collegiate Entrepreneurs & Young Entrepreneurs Organization) in Universal City, California (L.A.), where they were honouring the top 100 entrepreneurs of the year, for 1985.


The theme of the conference was “Catching Your Second Wind, ” and of course, Steve Jobs was the top honouree. He even wore a tie that day.

Steve gave an inspiring, motivational and impactful speech centering on Entrepreneurship. And while I don’t recall the entire speech, one quote has stuck with me ever since.

“Use your mind, but follow your heart,” Steve said.

Greg Gazin Steve Jobs

Steve was quite popular with the crowd, especially the ladies. But it was the brochure from our newly minted Young Executives Club from the University of Alberta in Edmonton that earned me a few minutes to chat with Steve.  In particular, he was interested in the fonts we were using. Typography is something that was always near and dear to him.

Steve Changed Lives

That day, Steve made quite an impression on me and it changed my life forever. As a visionary, he inspired me to “Think Different,” ahead of its time and take that next step sooner rather than later. I returned  home, bought a MacPlus, a dot matrix Imagewriter II and an external 800k floppy drive that April, graduated and started my own business that August. I’ve just recently celebrated 25 years as an entrepreneur.  Thanks Steve!

Working on the conference’s theme, Steve certainly helped Apple catch its second wind.  In the late 90’s things looked gloomy for Apple, but his return to the company he founded and the introduction of the colourful diskless bondi-blue iMac was the turning point and the start of great things to come – the iPod, the iPhone, iPad and more.


Coincidentally, I recall, I wrote an article on the iMac and Apple’s resurgence, which appeared in the Edmonton Sun and if my memory serves me correctly, was also one of my first contributions to CANOE. Now we’re going way back!

As a writer, I’ve also followed Apple ever since and continued to be inspired. I joined Toastmasters in 2002 to improve my public speaking skills, but it was in fact seeing Steve present his keynote, at the opening of MacWorld Expo2006, as Steve does with great charisma & flair that further inspired me.  I was challenged and encouraged to take my words on entrepreneurship, gadgets  and of course Apple, from the written page out to being in front of audiences.

One More Thing….

24 years later, I had an opportunity to say Thank You! It was at the Apple Fall Event2010.  Everyone wanted Steve’s attention, but he was also well protected by his entourage. I approached, got as close as I could and blurted, “Steve, I met you at a conference almost 25 years ago and I just wanted to say thank you,” and briefly uttered why.

“Which conference was that?” He asked, and was briskly brushed away. However, he did turn, grinned, nodded slightly in acknowledgement and his lips motioned what I thought were the words, “I’m glad.”

Insanely Great

Those words, that grin, that look will forever be an emblazoned image in my mind.

Steve, you were a visionary and I was happy to have met you. Thank you for helping me “Think Different.”

I’m only one person. I can only imagine the stories of the millions of others you have touched in the short time you have been on this earth.

Steve, on behalf of the world, thanks for your inspiration, motivation, leadership and dedication to mankind.

You did what you said you wanted to do, “put a ding in the universe,” and you did, and then some!

The world is a better place because of you, Steve Jobs!

We’ll miss you. Rest in Peace.

Greg Gazinis the Real CanadianGadget Guy.

Follow me onTwitter @gadgetgreg.

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