This is a story about the icon who was Steve Jobs, but it really isn’t. Rather, it’s an observation about two very different reactions by people I don’t know which prompted two very different reactions in me.
I am enrolled in Facebook school via Social Media Examiner Facebook Success Summit 2011 which launched October 5 via live webinar broadcast world-wide to some 1800 attendees. Ten minutes before the kickoff presentation to be given by Guy Kawasaki, Apple announced Steve Jobs had died. Guy is the former chief evangelist at Apple, the founder of Alltop, and an esteemed author and respected business and social media pro.
Michael Stelzner, president of Social Media Examiner, announced via email that Guy would alter his presentation and instead share a personal tribute about a very personal friend who had graced the world with such amazing talent and influence.
I listened to Guy at the top of his presentation not knowing what to expect. The email confused me as I’m not privy about peoples’ professional backgrounds, relationships, or true measure of influence unless I tune in consistently to them.
Guy was breathless and absolutely distraught. His mobile device was ringing off the hook (on vibrate); people wanted to reach out and express sympathy. Finally, he had to turn it off to concentrate on his live delivery and his in-the-moment-significant-real-time story about his close friend, Steve Jobs.
The significance of this moment wasn’t lost on me, but it didn’t carry that much weight until two days later when I read a question posed by a woman in the Facebook Summit LinkedIn group who asked, “Was anyone else upset that the first session was changed without notice?”
The passing of Steve Jobs is akin to the passing of Princess Diana, Michael Jackson, or JFK Junior. This woman had the audacity to ignore the impact of this historical moment by sharing it with someone experiencing true and real-time feelings ad lib. Because of this woman’s shortsightedness and posting of a selfish question, the significance of what I witnessed in Guy’s on-the-spot tribute became more critical to me.
I have not gone to follow the thread on LinkedIn; nor do I want to. Perhaps this woman is not an Apple consumer; perhaps she lives in a country other than the U.S. No matter; if Michael Stelzner thought the passing of Steve Jobs that important to segue his kick-off presentation then the students attending should’ve relished that experience, too.
This is kind of a strange post to share, but I just had to get this off my chest; it still dumbfounds me.