Steve Jobs was an inspiring figure, but I can’t say that he was a source of personal inspiration. Instead he did something more practical: he made my life possible. Along with Bill Gates, I owe Jobs for providing the very structure which allows me to pursue my current career and hobbies. I learned to program on an Apple II+. I played my first interactive fiction game on the same machine. The spark to use computers to create worlds began there. Who knows what direction my life would have taken without that computer?
Jumping to present day, Apple products have become part of my ecosystem. I have come to take for granted things that were impossible five years ago. The iPhone and iPad are necessities. Sometimes I touch them for no reason other than to confirm they exist.
Steve Jobs made my life easier and more interesting. That’s not a trivial accomplishment. So I took it hard when he died. Part of it was the understanding that the life force that was Steve Jobs had left the planet and he’d never show me something really great again. Part of it was me getting overwhelmed with how much he had impacted the world. For me it is an ideal to live a life that matters in a way that affects other people, in a way that weaves a legacy. Jobs did that on a grand scale. Personal opinions aside, his influence on the world is undeniable.
So aspire to be great in that thing you care about. Go as far as you can with your passions. People will notice. Your fire fans theirs. The memory of others is the only certain immortality.