On Wednesday, October 5, 2011, Donald Trump and I were together presenting a live, online book signing on one of Steve Job’s iPads. We were doing an iBook signing in cyber-space - an event not possible without his genius and his products. As the tech team was powering down and packing up the equipment in Trump Tower, we received the news of Steve’s passing.
Donald and I had just launched our latest book, Midas Touch: Why Some Entrepreneurs Get Rich - And Why Most Don’t. It seems ironic that we would be promoting a book on the need for more entrepreneurs on the same day one of the greatest entrepreneurs in history passed on. Donald and I are not techies, yet as fellow entrepreneurs, we have tremendous respect for Steve Jobs and felt a profound loss of a great human being. Some people express their humanity through medicine, political action, or acts of charity. Steve Jobs expressed his genius and gave his gift by being an entrepreneur.
The next morning, I was a guest host on CNBC and was asked if investors should sell Apple shares. I simply said I was still in mourning and did not think it appropriate to be betting on Apple stock at such a time.
My history with computers and introduction to Apple started when I was working at Xerox, where we were asked to sell the Xerox personal computer. The problem was that we did not know what we were selling. Steve Jobs saw the potential of the Xerox mouse-operated computer and invented the Macintosh. I converted to Apple and have been a fan ever since.
My first business in the late 1970’s was a nylon wallet company. It was entirely on a tiny Apple II-e.
In the mid-1980s, my wife Kim bought one of the first Mac portables, which was much, much, bigger and heavier than the MacBook Air I use today.
In 1986, Kim and I moved to Portland, Oregon and bought a house next to Reed College. Steve Jobs dropped out of Reed College. I would often jog over to Reed College and be in awe that Steve once walked those very same halls and pathways. My inspiration from this creative genius extended beyond his inventions.
In 1996, Rich Dad Poor Dad was written on the little Mac, pictured to the right. Without the innovation of Steve Jobs, who made using computers simple for people like me, I might never have written Rich Dad Poor Dad.
Today at the Rich Dad Company, Apple products assist my team with reaching people like you, all over the world.
On the day of Steve’s passing, Donald and I were breaking the technology barrier using social media to broadcast an iBook signing all over the world. We could not have done that without the brilliance of Steve Jobs. This is in stark contrast to the conventional days when we were only able to talk to a small, local group of people and sign a minimal number of printed books.
So I say “Thank you” to Steve Jobs for your contribution to my life and the world for generations to come.
That is why, when the host of CNBC asked if I would sell Apple Stock, I declined to answer, yet silently said to myself, “How can you sell for money when the gift of a man’s life’s work can never be measured in money?”
And even more importantly, without Steve Jobs, I might never have been writing to you, the person reading my thank you to a great man. May we all have the courage to be more like Steve Jobs, a person who made the world a better place to live.
Thank you for reading this.