I've been thinking about design...


Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple and the man who transformed consumer technology, died on October 5, 2011 at the age of 56. The story of his final moments is positively revelatory, especially in light of what his sister, Mona Simpson, revealed in his eulogy. As we know now, Steve's final words were monosyllables, repeated three times, "Oh wow! Oh wow! Oh wow!"

Many have speculated about what Jobs saw in his final moments that caused him to speak out in this way. I know I have spent time contemplating his last words, which given the circumstance, are laden with meaning - especially in light of a few clues he left behind.

Steve Jobs' appreciation of design is legendary - meaning he passionately loved the whole process of conceiving, planning and arranging all of the elements required to produce a perfect result.

We know he had a great love for some material objects, especially those that were finely designed and crafted, such as Porsche and Mercedes cars, Henckels knives and Braun appliances, BMW motorcycles and Ansel Adams prints, Bosendorfer pianos and Bang & Olufsen audio equipment. (Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, p. 105.)

We have heard, even sedated, how he ripped off an oxygen mask because he hated the design: "He ordered them to bring five different options for the mask and he would pick the design he liked." (He Knew He Was Right. The strange, sad, triumphant life of Steve Jobs by Lev Grossman, TIME, November 7, 2011, p. 53)

Again, Mona Simpson enlightens from his eulogy, "Before embarking, he'd looked at his sister Patty, then for a long time at his children, then at his life's partner, Laurene, and then over their shoulders past them, before saying his final words."

My conjecture - I am wondering if because of his love of design, he was actually viewing it in the scene set before him as he was breathing his last. 

In her eulogy, Mona Simpson also spoke about how love was the focus of Steve Jobs' final days. "Love was his supreme virtue, his god of gods. He tracked and worried about the romantic lives of the people working with him."

Conjecture #2 - I am wondering if in his focus on love, Jobs was able to follow the thread all the way back to its source and originator - God.

Job's primary test for recruiting people in the spring of 1981 to be part of his merry band of pirates was making sure they had a passion for the product. He would sometimes bring candidates into a room where a prototype of the Mac was covered by a cloth, dramatically unveil it, and watch. "If their eyes lit up, if they went right for the mouse and started pointing and clicking, Steve would smile and hire them," recalled Andrea Cunningham. "He wanted them to say, 'Wow!'" (Steve Jobsby Walter Isaacson, p. 114)

Conjecture #3 - Could it be that the designer of everything, even the afterlife, was waiting to see how Steve Jobs would respond to seeing a perfect design right before his eyes - something hidden from him in life but now revealed? Was he given a final opportunity to respond to his Creator as he took his final breath?

These conjectures are purely guesswork on my part but something I believe is worthy of God and His love for His creation. I believe He loved Steve Jobs to his last dying breath and He sought a relationship with him as he passed from this life to the next. Oh, wow!