Steve Jobs – 1955-2011
Like a lot of people, I woke up this morning to hear the incredibly sad news about the death of Steve Jobs. We all knew he was ill, probably very ill, but I wasn’t expecting it so soon. The way he’d been talking when he stepped down as Apple CEO a few months back, I figured he still had years ahead of him.
So many people have said so many poignant and truthful things already today. Friends like Rich, Oli and Sam – just regular, everyday Apple fans – have already paid tribute to a man who touched their lives in a unique way. I can imagine others (those who obviously don’t understand) saying “But you never even met the guy! What’s the big deal?”
I’ll take a moment to share my perspective on Steve, and what he did for me.
I’ve used Macs for a long time. Back before the original iMac. Before the iPod. Before they were cool. For me, there was always something great about them, even those monochrome Mac Classics that I used in the early nineties. They had character. They were different.
And then, Steve came back to Apple after his “wilderness years”. He launched the iMac, and what a machine that was. Then came OSX. Then came the iPod. In those revolutionary products, Steve captured the attention of the world and showed them something that they didn’t even know they wanted, but simply had to have.
Through my job, I got to buy and play with a lot of Apple kit. The G3 iMac, in particular, revolutionised my view of what a computer should be, and should do. I was never going back. I’m sat here typing this on an iMac right now.
Apple’s meteoric rise has been astounding. Only recently, Steve’s guidance saw the iPad become their next massive success – and again, a product that “experts” thought wouldn’t sell because there was no market for it.
Today, it seems like everyone is brandishing an “iDevice” like a style accessory. The majority don’t have Macs, and never will have. They probably don’t know the first thing about the history and evolution of that piece of technological wizardry they’re holding, and nothing of the contribution Steve has made to their lives.
If I’ve got one regret about how massively successful Steve made Apple, it’s that not enough people will look down at their Apple product on this monumental, awful day, take a brief quiet moment and think to themselves, “Thanks Steve”.