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You Can Be the Next Steve Jobs

The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- On this day of reflection I think there are more appropriate words than "genius" or "innovator" to describe Steve Jobs.

The temptation with a man like Steve is to want to turn him into a cartoon character whose success can be explained away with the allure of super-human powers.

Promoting this unattainable label is a disservice to the rest of us because it is impossible to follow in those kind of mystic footsteps. My observation of Steve Jobs is that he had an extremely high level of curiosity.

My favorite Jobs story is the one of him gathering his family around the dinner table to discuss which washer and dryer the family should purchase. The conversation went on for two weeks as the family analyzed design, efficiency and cost.

Eventually they decided to purchase the high priced European model because it used one quarter of the water compared to the American brand and it treated the clothes more gently so they would last longer. Steve commented on his washer and dryer back in 2005: "I got more thrill out of them than I have out of any piece of high tech in years."

Can we become as curious as Steve? Yes. An insatiable curiosity led him to discover better paths; such an attribute can do the same for you and me. Beyond Steve's curiosity I hope that all of us can take a cue from him and eliminate the debilitating effects of fear in our lives.

Steve Jobs was not afraid to fail. His comfort zone was uncomfortable. His string of iPod, iMac, iPhone and iPad success has been well documented over the past 10 years but up until age 45 he was a man well acquainted with failure.

How many people do you know that have been fired from their own company? Even his experiment at NEXT Computer was unable to get off the ground in the war with Microsoft. His reunion with Apple was viewed as a merger of two losers.

It was only through perseverance that he found success. He never stopped taking risks. He was never satisfied with what he had accomplished yesterday. He didn't allow the fear of failure to constrain him. I believe it was his curiosity coupled with his lack of fear that propelled Steve Jobs to greatness. That level of passion is attainable by all of us if we make the necessary commitment to excellence. Steve will be missed but on this day, I hope his exemplary life will be treated with the respect of reality rather than the embellishment of fools.
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