Remembering a legend.

For those of us that grew up in the heydays of the Sinclair era, Sir Clive Sinclair's death in 2021 brought back fond memories of a small black device that was the ZX Spectrum. For many people who have forged a career in technology this little device was the first time they got a chance to code. 👾

2 minute read

It's well written that last month Sir Clive Sinclair passed away at the fine age of 81. 

I joined the millions of others sharing my sadness at the loss of one of the UK’s finest inventors. 

I’ve been reflecting on his passing and the impact and although I never met, worked with or as far as I know even shared a train with him, his impact on my life and the lives of many will be felt for generations to come.  The pandemic has made many people question their lives, deciding in the face of so much uncertainty and fear that their priorities have changed, the definition of success for some has moved, whereas before perhaps contentment could be found with long ritualistic commutes, now, perhaps we value time and the quality of the activities we spend it on a little more. Sir Clive was a Unicorn before unicorns. Maybe he didn’t really ‘make it’ in the sense of today’s world, commercially some of his ideas were a huge success, but commercial success didn't really seem his ‘thing’. Something about the unassuming black rectangle with the little rubber keys and rainbow resonated with a generation of curious young minds. This is the real legacy of Sir Clive Sinclair. An entire generation inspired an explosion of love for technology came from his ideas, his open failure, the ridicule he suffered at time, his discipline, dedication and perseverance building the impossible, we watched and we dreamed with him. Clive of course did more than inspire a generation, he helped to create an industry that caught the kids going through school before computers landed, the kids that grew up with computers and taught themselves at home because for almost 20 years nobody taught it in schools. 

As Brunel when he invented the steam engine, as Ford did when he created the automobile, as the Wright Brothers took off and as Elon reverse parks rockets on a floating platform, Sir Clive Sinclair belongs to a rare collection of dreamers those who wrestle doubt in public to achieve the greatest success of all, they inspire their generation to believe impossible things really can happen and become the giants to stand on. Sir Clive was part of the future, he reminded us that failure is essential to success.