Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Sister on Steve Jobs’s Last Words: “OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW.”

Apple co-founder and Silicon Valley legend Steve Jobs lived a life that read like an epic novel, so it should be no surprise that his very last words on this temporal plane would be just as dramatic.

And they were: “OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW.”

That’s according to his sister, Mona Simpson, whose moving eulogy was published in the New York Times today. It’s well worth a read, given what a gifted writer Simpson is — she is a much-respected novelist — and the amazing subject.

Simpson opens the piece by writing about her desire for her estranged father to return to her life and become the be all and end all. Instead, it turned out to be Jobs.

“Even as a feminist, my whole life I’d been waiting for a man to love, who could love me,” she wrote. “For decades, I’d thought that man would be my father. When I was 25, I met that man and he was my brother.”

A fitting legacy, among many.

It’s a delightful piece, too, and here is my favorite part:

“For an innovator, Steve was remarkably loyal. If he loved a shirt, he’d order 10 or 100 of them. In the Palo Alto house, there are probably enough black cotton turtlenecks for everyone in this church.”

It’s lovely that his sister would be the one to give everyone that one more thing.

Most of us don’t get to stay goodbye quite so eloquently, if at all, as Simpson surmised about the message of her brother’s life. So, saying hello to life still remains our best option.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik