After years of battling cancer and recovering from a liver transplant, Steve Jobs, the innovator of my time, has passed away. The news hit me like a freight train in the form of a tweet from @BreakingNews.
At first I was certain it was another cruel joke. Just last month CBS mistakenly reported Steve’s death and rumors of this kind have been going around for years. He actually made fun of it at his 2008 WWDC keynote address saying, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” A nod to literary genius, Mark Twain.
It wasn’t until I read the report on Apple‘s own website that it really sank in. Steve is gone.
I know there are many people who follow me on Twitter or are friends with me on Facebook, and even those that just stumbled upon this post, that might be reading this and thinking, “He was just a dude” or “He wasn’t an innovator, he was a borrower” etc.
All I can say to you guys is that this post probably isn’t for you.
To me, Steve Jobs was a friend I never talked to, a mentor I never met, an inspiration that never failed me. He was a nerd that was also a badass. When people laughed at him for thinking the computer should be personal he said, “Ok, then don’t make it.” When the music industry and retailers laughed at an online music store he said, “Ok, then don’t do it.” When cellphone makers like Motorola and Nokia said Apple’s phone would be a failure he said, “Ok, the don’t fear it.”
Well guess what. They made it. They did it. They fear it.
He brought a company everyone else was writing off, from bankruptcy to a valuation of over $74b. Let me rephrase that. From less than zero to more than $74,000,000,000. You don’t do that on accident.
Apple has enough money to literally buy any company in America. Hell, it could probably buy a few states if it really wanted and I’m pretty sure they almost bought North Carolina.
My first computer was a Mac SE/30. I’ll never forget it. The feel of the power button on the back, the sound it made when it turned on, the smile it gave as the screen turned on. It was like a best friend to me.
The flying toasters, the monitor dials hidden under the front ledge, the handle on top… I even had a carrying bag for it so I could take it with me when we went on long trips.
So many nights were spent under the black and white glow of this guy.
After the SE/30, my life took a turn for the PC. I still watched the Macintosh Performa infomercials on Saturday mornings in awe of the power these machines possessed. I started building PCs from scratch, got into computer programming and Apple started to go down the drain.
It was with the release of the iBook, I believe the first laptop released after Steve’s return to Apple, that I started to really miss the Mac.
My grandmother’s public relations and marketing agency purchased a few for the higher ups. She of course was the first to get one and I was lucky enough to get to play with it the day it arrived at her offices.
It was cute, fast, slim and had a handle; just like my precious SE/30. It was also incredibly fun. I actually have a G3 iBook that still boots up to this day.
Now I am the proud owner of an iPad, iPhone, iMac, MacBook Pro and AppleTV.
I don’t see Apple changing with the passing of Steve. For the last few years Tim Cook has been the guy helping Apple achieve its financial success. He seems to be a great fit for the title of CEO and I’m pleased he was given that position before the passing of Steve. I also find it somewhat fulfilling that the fifth iteration of the iPhone was released before Steve’s death. I like to think he was able to finish one last project before leaving.
Steve Jobs was a great guy. He had his faults, he had his strengths. He was an innovator that was able to create something from nothing. He was also able to flip a preconceived notion on its head. A phone with only two buttons? A tablet with no keyboard? A computer made for people?
Trust I could ramble on for another few thousand words but it seems in the spirit that is Steve Jobs that I’ll do my best to keep this brief.
RIP Steve. A hero, an idol, an innovator, a great man.
- Steve Jobs Has Passed Away (1955-2011)
- Steve Jobs resigns as CEO of Apple
- Fortune Releases Steve Jobs History E-Book
- Breaking: Apple says Steve Jobs has died
- Feature: Steve Jobs: February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011