Archive | October, 2011

The Man Who Changed Everything

7 Oct

It took a full day before I was able to write this.  I spent a good part of the day reading through the stories of people creating memorials, looking at the pictures, and finding myself remarkably emotional about the whole thing.  I never met Steve Jobs, never really thought about who was running the show out there in Cupertino.  But like 300 million other people on this planet, I have part of Steve Jobs with me almost everywhere I go.

Like me, many of you have an iPod.  Or two.  A couple of months ago, I wrote about how Google has seemingly taken over our lives.  As I look back on that now, I think that there needs to be a caveat to that thought.  While Google may own email, web searching, browsers, etc., Apple clearly owns the hardware and our hearts.  Steve Jobs had a vision of simplicity that started in his parent’s garage and evolved into a multi-billion dollar organization that has created the most innovative and widely popular device portfolio on the planet.

My first experience with Apple was almost 30 years ago.  I had an Apple IIe at home, and learned the basics of computer use on that first iconic machine.  In my adolescent and adult life, I steered clear of Apple products for many years.  Maybe it was the cost, maybe the fear of having to learn a whole new way to think when it came to interfacing with my computer.  When I got my first iPod in 2005, it was plugged into a Dell Windows-based machine.  Oh, what a fool I was back then.  When my Dell finally decided it was time to join the ranks of expired hardware, I made the decision to jump off the deep end and go Mac.  After quite a bit of hesitation, I purchased my MacBook Pro.  Not willing to completely let Microsoft out of my life, I made sure that I had Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on the new computer.

Within the first ten minutes of playing with my new computer, I was in love.  My worries about learning a new OS?  Long gone.  What Apple had created from Jobs’ vision was the easiest, most intuitive user interface I have ever seen.  This device is so user friendly, you can almost feel Steve Jobs himself welcoming you into the fold.  And the look?  I’m sorry, but the brushed aluminum frame beats any laptop on the market today for overall aesthetic.  So why, may you ask, does the email signature from my phone clearly read “Not sent from an iPhone”?

That is one of life’s little ironies.  I saw so many emails with the iPhone signature that it got old; like the hit song that gets too much play on the radio.  I was lured by the idea of the Android platform and the fact that it was the new shiny thing on the block.  While that phone has served its purpose, I have had multiple issues with it and have finally made the decision to join the ranks of the iPhone users.  Which is great because with the introduction if iOS5, it will sync with my iPad over the air, no wires needed.

Ultimately, this is not about me.  This is about the extraordinary vision of a man who will be deeply missed.  His guidance and leadership of not just Apple, but of the whole world, will be seen and felt for years to come.  Steve Jobs taught us that it is OK to dream big and make those dreams a reality.  Steve Jobs saw simple, easy to use technology for everyone and through his leadership, he delivered.  For that Mr. Jobs, we offer our deepest appreciation for changing our lives for the better.  You will be missed.