“Heroes”, “Idols”, and “people that are admired” all seem to be terms that are somewhat synonymous with each other.
The term “hero” seems to be reserved for those that go above and beyond normal expectations. There are a number of people that I believe should get this status almost automatically – parents, those who have served their country, police, fire department, doctors, and so on. I know that the people that pulled me out of my car after my accident, took me to the hospital, and took care of me in the ICU are all considered “heroes” in my book. My wife gets hero status just for dealing with me on a daily basis.
I don’t really use the term “idol” as a description very often – this seems to be used mostly for sports stars, movie stars, and musicians, and while there are many in these groups that I greatly admire, I haven’t ever really put them on a pedestal. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems as though some people find it easy to elevate a celebrity to “idol” status, whereas I might only say “I admire them.”
Of these terms, I would say that I use the phrase “person that I admire” the most. With that said, this is definitely something that I don’t say about a lot of people, it has to be earned. Generally the people that I admire are those that are able to do things that I can’t do, or those that are among the best in their chosen discipline. The last big “catch” is that they also have to be a truly good person.
When I was a kid, I thought Bucky Dent was one of the greatest baseball players ever. I wouldn’t call him an “idol”, but almost 35 years after trading lots of my baseball cards just to get a Bucky Dent card, I’m still a big enough fan that I wanted to name our dog after him. (Short note to you Red Sox fans at SolidWorks and those in the Boston area: I know that uttering his name is like screaming an obscenity to you – I was just a kid, and I pretty much stopped watching baseball when Steinbrenner came in and Bucky was traded.) When I was in junior high and high school, there were a number of musicians that I considered incredible, but I don’t know that I would have considered them “idols” (although Randy Rhoads and Neil Peart were really close.) As for movie stars, John Cusack was not an “idol”, but as a comedic actor he ruled, enough said.
Having always been a geek, I tended to have different “heroes” than my other friends. When people were talking about the band Tesla, I was talking about the engineer Nikola Tesla. When people were talking about the bands that were going to be playing at the US Festival, I was talking about the guy that was responsible for the event – Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak. There is a saying about not meeting your heroes – I’m guessing that this stems from several unfavorable run-ins with various “stars” (movie, sports, or music.) One of the nice things about having a geek as hero is that they are usually excited to meet their fans. I have met a few of my geeky “heroes”, and I have never been let down – in fact I usually walk away with more respect for the person. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have met and laughed with Steve Wozniak.
So, why am I talking about heroes instead of SolidWorks?
Wednesday, October 5th was a day that really shook up my world. On Wednesday, the tech world lost a great visionary with the passing of Steve Jobs.
Truth be told, I have always been a bigger fan of Steve Wozniak, primarily because I can relate more to him, but there is a part of me that always wanted to be a little more like Steve Jobs. Woz is a technical genius, Jobs was a marketing wizard – the perfect pair to start a company that has changed the world around us. I most admired Jobs for his ability to engage people and have them hanging on his every word – to say that he was an incredible presenter/speaker is quite possibly one of the greatest understatements ever.
Woz and Jobs were both my heroes, each one for a different reason.
Steve Jobs was definitely one of a kind, and he will be dearly, dearly missed.
I have been a huge fan since the Apple II, but the introduction of the Macintosh was absolutely awe-inspiring, check it out here – Macintosh Introduction
If, like me, you long to hear “One more thing” just one more time, you might want to give this a try – One More Thing“
Some of my favorite quotes of all time belong to Steve Jobs:
“Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?” – Steve Jobs luring a CEO away from Pepsi
“I want to put a ding in the universe.” – Steve Jobs
(I think we can all agree that he did . . .)
Thanks for everything Steve, you’ve always inspired me to . . . Think different