The following is a guest post by Brian Halligan. A friend, my co-founder at HubSpot and a fellow Jobs fanboy.
Ok, I admit it, I'm a Steve Jobs fanboy. I use virtually all of his products, I've read every book there is about him, and I probably never would have founded my company had it not been for his inspiration.
As our company's defacto first product manager, I did what any new product manager probably does, I gobbled up virtually everything I could on how Steve Jobs builds products at Apple. I read how Steve obsessed about every detail, his brilliant aesthetic, his occassional mercurial management style, etc. After reading so much about him, I started copying everything I could. After all, how hard could it be? ...Well, it turns out its a lot harder than it looks!
If I watched every minute of basketball Michael Jordan played, read all of his biographies, listened to his interviews, and practiced his moves non-stop, I'd become an adequate basketball player, but I'd be missing the genetic code that makes him a great basketball player. For starters, no matter how much I practiced and learned, I was never going to be 6 feet 6 inches tall. It turns out the same is true for Steve Jobs. No matter how much I read and practiced, I was not going to develop his design aesthetic and was not going to develop his attention to detail.
As you read all the content that comes out today on Steve, my advice would be to take in the inspriration and emulate what you can, but also be true to yourself. You have your own super powers -- don't completely forget those and try to be someone else.
Or, in Steve own word's from his Stanford commcencement address:
"Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life."