Legacy Matters

The passing of Steve Jobs last week unleashed a tsunami of testimonials (my own ode to this business rock star can be found here).

While expected, his death was profoundly sad—both because of his age and the potential he had to continue to change the world. Steve was a gift. He did work that mattered.

Perhaps now is a good time to take stock. To stop the frenetic pace for a moment and consider how your work helps others. To consider whether what you’re doing truly matters.

Are those you touch better off by knowing you?

Because in the end, that’s all that matters.


  • When I was in government and also involved in a few non profit, I wrote some two decades back:
    “The thing that makes me go 15, 16 or 17 hours a day of work and serving our community, barely take vacation over the last several years – until i started to take time to take my children to places they’d enjoy – is because I really care about people, I know that my work is intended to make people’s lives better and to make a difference in society for the common good.”
    I increased my involvement in community and charitable groups since I left public service in 2003.
    My professional practice reflects that approach as I enjoy making a difference big and small through my work and work with others, and on behalf of my clients.

  • I worked in Silicon Valley both before and during the early days of Apple Computer and while I did not know Steve Jobs, I did – briefly – know Steve Wozniak.

    I was part of the hiring team that hired him at Electroglas, a semiconductor equipment company. During the hiring process I promised him that ALL our technicians found the work fascinating and interesting and that few ever quit.

    About 3 weeks later (maybe it was a month or two), he quit….Why? Because he had a bigger dream and $300 in his pocket that would help him to start his own business.

    Not quite the end of a story about legacy work….20 years later Woz stood on a stage at a concert he funded for (rumor has it) $3Million and announced that the $300 for his dream was harder to raise than the $3Million for the concert.

    Touching story, I think….one worth hearing as we all struggle into an uncertain future. In some small way, I always remember his courage and his youthful foolishness! It helps me to remember that everything we do must be future focused no matter our chronological ages today.

    Fond Aloha…

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