Thank You, Steve Jobs!
Today was just another day. I was finishing up dinner when I got a text and a phone call from my brother in quick succession. “Did you hear Steve Jobs died?” I read from the text as my brother’s voice was saying the same thing to me through the white earbuds of my iPhone.
My first thought was that he must be mistaken. Then my fingers were flying over the keyboard of my MacBook Pro to see if it was a false rumor started by some horrible twitter prank or by some hackers. No such luck. Right there on the front page of cnn.com was the confirmation that I realized I was dreading. I had never met Steve Jobs, but regardless I felt like something had been taken from me. Maybe it’s that Steve’s products have become such a part of my life that I feel like I almost knew him by extension. It seemed like he put so much of himself into all those products. Within reach of my arms I had an iPhone 4, an iPad 2, a late 2008 MacBook Pro and a 2009 MacBook. If I had walked into the other room I could have put my hands on a 3rd gen iPod, a second gen iPod Nano, an iPhone 3G, a 12” Powerbook and a G5 Mac Pro.
It’s not just that I own a lot of Apple products, I’ve been using Apple products since I was in elementary school. Even when Steve was gone from Apple I held the faith. Towards the end of his exile though things weren’t looking too good and I went a lot of years between Mac purchases. Once Steve came back to Apple, things started getting better. Looking back we can see that Mr. Jobs (have to be formal here because of all the respect I have for his Herculean feat) was embarking on the biggest corporate turnaround in history. Apple Computer was on the brink of bankruptcy. Now Apple, Inc. is either the 1st or 2nd largest company by market cap depending on the day. I have tremendous respect for the hard work and dedication it took to make that a reality.
Now, Steve didn’t turn Apple around by being a great finance guy or a great manager. He turned it around by being a highly driven visionary. He saw where Apple needed to go. Then he made sure that it got there no matter what. It didn’t matter if people said a product was stupid or wouldn’t succeed. If he believed in something, he followed through on his vision and in most cases and when it really counted, he was right. We have him to thank for Macs, OS X, iPods, iPhones, iPads and the iTunes store. We have him to thank for a lot more than that though. We have to thank him for all the products that compete with Apple. Many were inspired by Apple and even where they werern’t other companies were driven to do more, better and cheaper because of Steve Jobs and Apple. Steve might not be singlehandedly responsible for driving innovation (I would never suggest that), but his efforts definitely gave innovation a boost.
I can’t say what type of a person Steve was because I never met him (and unfortunately now never will), but a lot can be forgiven for someone that leaves as large an impact as he did. Even though I never met him, I did shed a few tears for him because of the impact that he had on me. I felt the loss of his passing and I’m not ashamed to admit that. Thank you Steve for the impact you have had on technology, the world and my life in particular. You were a large part in inspiring me towards a career in technology. I only wish that I could do something for you in return. I know that I can’t, but in your memory I will follow your advice and do my best to live the life I believe I am meant to lead. I will also do my best to make an impact on others and the world. I can’t hope to do as much as you have, but I will put my all into doing the most that I am able to do to bring my dreams to completion.
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