Although Jobs didn't die of a "man's disease" there are lots of men killers out there that can be stopped if you look for the signs. But talking to men around me we are often reluctant to go and see a doctor for regular health checks.
If you have a smoke alarm in your home, it's not because you expect a fire, but because you want to be warned if there is one. Think the same way about your own health: a visit to the doctor for an annual medical is a smoke alarm for your body.
PS In the UK if you are over 40 then the NHS offers a free "Health Check" (http://www.nhs.uk/Planners/NHSHealthCheck/Pages/NHSHealthChe...) that screens for common adult diseases. It's free. Go do it.
Looking back there were so many telltale signs that I had over the last six months, which I was ignoring as I was busy building my startup. A regular health check has the potential to catch a problem like this. I now nag each of my friends and family in having an annual health check.
Its the best time you can spend.
This was not the first time I made a mistake like this. When I was a kid, I had trouble seeing my teacher's blackboard. I just kept moving closer to the blackboard. I saw a doctor when I had trouble understanding what the teacher was writing from the first row.
Problems like this creep up on you over years, and they are so gradual you don't realize them.
You wont run your site without a Google Analytics/Pingdom. Dont do it with your life. If you haven't had a health check, get it done today.
I had an aunt and an uncle (from different sides and don't know each other) fight off cancer 5 years ago. After they were deemed "cured", they still didn't learn the lesson of an annual health check. Around 1 year ago they both started to feel strange symptoms and went to checkup again. They found out not only had the cancer recurred but that it had spread to many parts of their bodies. The doctors recommended a couple of treatments but weeks later they said there was nothing more they could do.
In July and August they both passed away, within 3 weeks of each other. (Right after my grandmother too, and of course it's been emotional for me.)
It appears this applied to S.J too. (If he died of recurring cancer.)
But, convincing anyone (including me, a 21 year old) of annual checkup is hard. The thinking goes: we've been fine for all our lives/ is too young to get sick, why worry?
If your the typical fat american too, pre-diabetes and heart attacks happen to 20-somethings too. It's estimated in about a decade from now, %50 of the US population will be diabetic/pre-diabetic. Cancer can occur also, I know people who've died of cancer in their 30s, and pretty much the only way to somewhat avoid/'cure' cancer is the earliest possible detection, and that's no where near foolproof even then.
Weight gain can sneak up on you too even if your not doing too much that's different in your diet and exercise. I'm 25 and I'm starting to thin out in my hair region. Aging can catch up to you quicker than you think and if you have health insurance and an income, taking your health seriously and spending money on things like these can really reap benefits in the future.
Health and your personal well-being have never been more important to me than it is now. I've lost 50+ pounds in the last 6 months because I couldn't ignore my health problems any more. It got to be too important that I pay attention. Another thing I've lost? My sister. She was 36 years old. She died from a pulmonary embolism while she was getting ready to go to work as an ICU nurse. Ironically, she was a nurse who rarely (if ever) saw a doctor and ended up passing away because she didn't know she was prone to easy blood clotting.
If that's not a wake up call, I don't know what is.
Why will I miss Steve Jobs? Not the iphones and macbooks and ipads that I've bought and enjoyed immensely - but the lesson that tomorrow is no sure thing and to live today as if it's not. This particular lesson is what I'll always remember about this man. He helped us get all of this wonderful STUFF, purchased with money, but the journey that got Apple there is entirely without a price tag.
Hug your family members first. Tell them to literally take care of themselves immediately after.
Until I read this, I had forgotten about my own history of mild myopia: I had a mandatory eye exam at 14, which detected the problem, but I was too vain to tell my parents about it, because I didn't want to wear glasses. 3 years of straining to read the board in class followed (which probably dropped my performance in school significantly). When I turned 17 and wanted to drive, I caved and got glasses and contacts. It was an amazing change in quality of life, and by the time I was 22 I had LASIK.
Thanks for reminding me of this: I'm going to make sure I get my own kids' eyes tested at least annually.
In my elementary school, we had mandatory semi-informal eye exams. My myopia got diagnosed around grade two or three in one of these exams.
Of course, it's a hell of a lot more expensive than it should be, but I was unable to find anything better for a self-employed single person.
Secondly, I think Steve Jobs would have been much worse off if he had stepped down as CEO.
Steve Jobs needed Apple as much as Apple needed Steve Jobs.
How do you know? He is reported to have spent a lot of time with his family. It is, in fact, quite possible to lead a very busy lifestyle and still remain healthy. I'm sure many of us here do exactly that.
I have no clue whether these were things Jobs did, but he was hardly starting a company here.
There's a gigantic grass lawn right next door, in Moscone Center.
Steve Jobs was a great man, but this remembrance hit a sour note for me. It's not about Steve Jobs, so much as it's about an outsider's fantasy of what Jobs' (very private) inner life was like. And if this bears no resemblance to reality, it's not a remembrance at all. It could even be offensive to the people who knew him best.
Remember the man for the person that he was, not for the person that you imagined him to be.
Do you not see a problem in pointing out his very private nature, then scorning people for imagining that instead of knowing it?
It could even be offensive to the people who knew him best.
And now you're chastising people for fantasizing about SJ because of how you fantasize his friends reacting? Come on.
No. Maintaining a private life does not give anyone carte blanche to fill in the details with fiction. People may do it, but that doesn't make it right.
This is true of just about everything.
I've been to convention centers on every continent, on a weekly basis for the last five years. I've seen more of hotels/conference centers than I have of my family and friends in that time, but I still think back to sitting on top of that building with sound of laughter, happiness & peace, while eating a meal with a it's own hand picked/hand chosen tea, plate, cutlery and everything else, picked to go just with that one meal on the menu and think of it's basic, intrinsic magical symphony. I guess in someways that's why I think of that memory today and how that memory relates to Steve Jobs, Apple and all he created.
Is this actually possible of anyone?
Five minutes ago I had just watched Jobs' commencement speech on CNN for the at least the 50th time. I put work on hold just to hear it again. Every time I hear it I gain strength. I've never had a dad but I did have heroes. Steve Jobs is one of them.
Funny — I was reflecting on exactly this today. No dad, either. Thanks for sharing it.
I think Jobs is the only person outside of my immediate family whose passing could hit me in the gut quite this way. I grew up looking to his example. A man I never met but who nonetheless showed me, in small but meaningful ways, how to be a man.
Meanwhile, I'm not sure you could conduct a proper tribute to Steve Jobs without throwing in a little kitsch. Have you seen the "1984" ad? The "Think Different" ads? Steve Jobs' taste was not constrained by a self-conscious fear of cheese. ;)
To me, Gruber captures Jobs as both a loving family man and a visionary who is selective with his attention to detail. This is a nice lesson, as I often spend time focusing on the wrong details.
Even the structure of the article -- a vignette with a narrative device built from a small detail -- is a tribute to Jobs's legendary focus on details.
Beautiful on multiple levels.
It's enough just to invoke the idea that Steve had found time to get outside - whatever he was doing and whoever he was doing it with and that he did so by focusing on what was truly important but part of great writing is leaving a little bit to the reader and I felt he could have left it there.
But hell, what do I know, I post the odd thing on HN, Gruber earns six figures blogging...
(Don't get me wrong, I like Gruber and I like the piece, just that paragraph).
He denied paternity of his daughter Lisa, even testifying in court that he was infertile. Lisa's mother was on welfare for a time because of this. So if you are going to say he was a loving father, you should also mention that he was a neglectful one.
Hero worship is empty. If you want to admire something, admire the man, not some two dimensional pr bullshit.
You left out the part where he accepted paternity, supported his daughter financially, and had a very strong relationship with her until his death.
No one is perfect, but how can you hold mistakes he made decades ago (this happened in the 1980s) and subsequently rectified against him?
In his own words about his biography: I’ve done a lot of things I’m not proud of, such as getting my girlfriend pregnant when I was 23 and the way I handled that. But I don’t have any skeletons in my closet that can’t be allowed out.
Yes, it's bad, but they do. Deal with it. Stop being so pathetic. Did you even know him in person? If not, why do you think now is the right time for kitsch? Why not yesterday when lots of people - like everyday- died of hunger and poverty all over the planet? Yeah right, those people never sold you overprized gadgets made in Chinese sweat shops, where people commit suicide by the dozen.
The whole thing is contrived and smacks of just the sort of prying, cultish obsession with the private lives of celebrities that Steve Jobs treated with scorn. If it wasn't appropriate to write crap like this when he was alive, I don't see why it is now that he's dead.
I worry that the long hours and extraordinary commitment to our craft may not be worth the sacrifices we make. The time is now for me, and I'm driving hard to a personal goal. Late nights and early mornings, essentially every waking hour is spent preoccupied by building a great product. And I see it in my son's eyes that he's missing me.
Reading Gruber's final paragraph reminds me that I'm going to regret this lost moment in time with my family, and that any success achieved will be paid for by their commitment to stand by me along the way.
Tonight, I'm going to kick off early and go watch his Hockey practice. And then enjoy a few periods of the Leaf opener tonight with the kid. He deserves it.
We need fanaticism to counter balance apathy.
There is nothing more empowering than a belief in what you do, why you do it, or who you do it for.
*said as someone who ran a fan site for 16 years
I guess I would rather have the vibrant edges and a sense of civility that, frankly, has never been there(1) than the gray landscape of the middle.
(1) see various sources on the election of 1800 for a nice historical example
I think we agree but our scales of the edges and the middle might be different.
Now I think of it though, I remember when the most fun you could have was standing in the middle of a see-saw whilst your friends sat on the ends.... I don't think it would have been anywhere as much fun if everybody was standing in the middle and there was nobody on the ends to upset the balance.
And I'm glad it took Gruber some time to post this after the news broke yesterday, it would make me glad to know that he didn't have it ready and waiting to be published.
FYI Steve was famous for always wearing the same thing, including the shoes.
Overall something about Gruber's piece felt off to me. But none of us is a perfect writer and this is an emotional time.
rac-on-teur: A person who tells anecdotes in a skillful and amusing way.
Also, found this interesting site in the process of defining that word: http://www.theraconteurs.com/
With additional dictionaries, this feature is pure gold for language learners.
Apple, and thus Jobs, has always been "them" to me. With the exception of the CoCo way back in the day, I've never been much of a fanboy, but my computer affiliations have always been with something other than Apple: CBM PET, COSMAC Elf, CoCo I/II/III, Amiga, Dos, Windows, Linux - always something else.
But in all that time, I always felt that, over rated and over hyped as they might be, Apple and Jobs we worth of respect and admiration, most especially for their inspiration.
Inspiration inward, in the sense of invention, discovery, and art.
Inspiration outward, in the sense of leadership, drive, and motivation.
Somehow, a kernel of that inspiration is expressed by this vignette.
You could do Richard Branson's job.
Most of the time anyway.
Except for what he does for about five minutes a day. In those five minutes, he creates billions of dollars' worth of value every few years, and neither you nor I would have a prayer of doing what he does. Branson's real job is seeing new opportunities, making decisions that work, and understanding the connection between his audience, his brand, and his ventures.
Don't you think that's a little over the top?
Update: Used to be #4A525A and now is #222222
I feel like I'm living in a real-life Simpsons episode: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZGIn9bpALo
> jumped ship to the Mac when the Lisa tanked.
Jobs was taken off the Lisa team before it even shipped (he joined the Mac in 1982, the Lisa did not ship before '83)
> The OS X technology was written by NeXT before Apple bought them.
Of course, what would have been the point of buying NeXT otherwise? NeXT was founded by Jobs.
> iPod (etc.) was a design win and a business win, but Jobs just helped hire good people.
Most of them he actually brought with him from NeXT (the NeXT acquisition has often been referred to as a takeover). Or he found rotting inside Apple itself (Ive had been working for Apple for 5 years before Jobs came back and put him in charge of Industrial Design). And Jobs's main role has never been to be in the production trenches (it's easy to see that from Folklore.org), I don't understand what you're trying to achieve taking down irrelevant strawmen.
> But seriously- the man was a front man for great technology that people use.
What you're trying to achieve is apparently being high as a kite.
That's like saying the iPod developers just helped write code, or the iPod designers just helped design. Hiring good people is huge.
I have similar thoughts about 'mourning tourism' and the questionable relationships people have in their heads with public figures, but we humans are irrational creatures. Tolerating our irrationality is a good policy. I'm not saying you should go and implement sharia law or become a creationist, I'm saying you should just give people a chance to vent and leave them alone for 24 hours.
So forgive me if I don't do that.
This guy meant something to a lot of people. It's okay that you're different. But let people have their moment. Go for a walk. People exist for their own purposes, not your pleasure.
Tell me you can read a comment like http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3078323 with a straight face.
Death is difficult. Cut people a damn break.
I'm confident 99% of commenters didn't know Steve Jobs personally. If his death is difficult for them, it's a problem they themselves have created.
That's, uh, a... Penis thing to say.
People form attachments to those they've never met because humanity doesn't require reciprocal contact for personal impact. I knew Jobs only through his work, words and passion. I make my salary, doing a job I absolutely love, because of things he decided had to be built.
I will endlessly be in his debt for the world he helped create and the example he so consistently set. His passing tears at me more than I ever would have guessed.
It is not a problem I created. It's a man who earned my respect and admiration, gone. Forever.
That is something so profoundly difficult for me to process, entire systems of ritual and belief were created thousands of years ago in an attempt to address the helplessness.
Human impermanence is hard.
Yes. Doesn't make it any less true.
That humans have emotions isn't a solvable problem, or generally, even a problem at all. It's those emotions that allow us to strive for more, that allow us to love those that are close to us, that allow us to form long and lasting relationships, that allow us the compassion for charity and the will to help the world. In some cases, yeah, it causes us to perhaps have fondness, or perceived attachment to someone we haven't met.
Regardless, many view Jobs as an inspirational figure. I personally know of more than one successful entrepreneur who would say that something Steve Jobs did was their motivation for starting a company, or excelling at what they did, or gave them the insight that made their company more successful.
I myself am not an overly sentimental person, but I recognize that "If his death is difficult for them, it's a problem they themselves have created." is a line of completely trite bullshit.
Sympathy isn't a problem, and even if it were, it likely isn't one any of the people could have avoided making, even had they so consciously chosen to try.
It's okay. We don't have to agree. I can only say that when human impermanence next strikes closer to your squishy bag of feelings, those around you will show more compassion than you've shown here. Good luck, fellow traveler.
He was a visible figure in people's lives. To attach emotion to someone present in your life, even if they aren't physically there, even if you don't know them in any intimate way, is natural. I recently saw a documentary where elephants walked by the skeletal remains of fallen elephants along their water migration path and touch their trunk to them in what observers deem a tribute. They likely don't even know the deceased. Would you call that a problem?
That's the vexing thing about celebrity: Their seemingly open-book lifestyle (I know, he was a supremely private individual but, hey, Steve could've let anyone else do those keynotes and demos) lets us connect to them in ways that the celebrities cannot even fathom.
edit: by the way, "If you read this far, you should follow me on twitter here" - classy.
If you don't like it, get out of our backyard - you're welcome back after the funeral.
We're sad because today the world of technology seems a little less exciting than it did yesterday. We owe that man a debt. If you don't like reading this stuff, come back in a couple of days.
BUT, to most (lucky) people reading Hacker News, Steve Jobs has had more of an impact on our day-to-day lives. He was a hero to many of us, and I don't think it's correct for some people to decide who is and isn't a valid hero. It's all about context.
Apple makes beautiful product and provide nice educational resources to this world, Steve worked hard for this with all his life. So he is far more than "a god to consumers" to me.
Some people are going too far, like whoever left the two bunches of flowers I noticed outside the door of my local Apple store last night. But hey, maybe they knew him personally. Death is hard, and I've got better things to do than look down my nose at other people for their reactions to it.