What Steve Jobs Teaches Us. In Business. In Government. In Life.

As a child of the 1980s, my first computer was CoCo3 (Tandy’s Color Computer 3). That was followed by an Apple IIe. And later, a loud box-shaped Mac that graced my dorm room desk at Andover.

The innovation in computing and in technology that followed in the years since I was wide-eyed high school student who loved computers and technology is nothing short of staggering.

In the early 1980s, my CoCo was a 512K dream box. Today, our dreams are processed in terabytes, geolocation technology, and mobile apps and devices.

Today, through technology, we can communicate with the world in an instant, experience any culture we want, learn anything we want, and stretch our productivity to new limits.

Thickly layered in this, our post-industrial, technological epoch (or revolution) was Steve Jobs.

The man who pioneered computers and technology, and took his dream to enrich the lives of people to the whole world, died yesterday. Steve Jobs was 56 years old.

And while many over the coming days and weeks will salute his career, it was his philosophy of making things that were at “the intersection of art and technology” and the concept to “think different” that really gets to the heart of what the life of Steve Jobs can teach us.

In business and in government, we need to ask ourselves, “How are we moving to create things that truly intersect with art and technology? How are we thinking differently than we have before? How are we enriching the lives of the people around us?”

Steve Jobs was undoubtedly an iconic figure. But his dreams, surrounded by successes and failures, all had two common elements: ideas and decisions. Ideas around delivering technology that enhanced our lives, and decisions to think broadly and differently, and to make the ideas into reality no matter what it took to get there.

In the end, there is nothing iconic about that. It is within each of us to dream, and it is within each of us to do.