He thought different than most people. He definitely thought different than most CEOs and most computer programmers. But he didn’t think so different that he lost touch of what people want, of who people are and that, ultimately, his products were by people, for people. That’s why they were so successful, that’s why everyone loves them. That’s why I love them, and chose to make a career and a life out of using them. Apple products have been the source of my livelihood for over sixteen years, and Steve Jobs was Apple.
And sadly, today, Steve Jobs died.
It’s strange. Many famous personalities have passed away in the course of my own life but for some reason his death has touched me way more than most. Perhaps it’s because of my love for his products, or perhaps it’s because I rely on them so much on a daily basis. Unless I’m sleeping or eating (and even then) there’s little time that passes that I’m not using an Apple device. I can finance my home, my car, the food that I eat and the gifts I buy because of work that I do on Apple products. I speak to my family and friends on an iPhone. I’m writing this on an AirBook. Tomorrow at work I’ll turn on an iMac. Lather, rinse, repeat… that’s my life.
Apple never made a car, but if they did I’d be driving one.
It’s not blind devotion, either… I simply like Apple. The purity of design has always been second-to-none. Sure, other companies always came out with similar devices that were more feature-laden, or less expensive, or more powerful. Sometimes all three. But they never beat Apple’s design… the pure sense that what you were holding was made just for you. From the moment you opened the box you felt as if the item was designed with you in mind. Not a laundry list of features or a race to higher processor speed, but rather intended for your hand, your fingers, your eyes and ears. Apple’s products never overwhelmed you, they became part of you. And thus Apple, over the past decade and a half, became a part of me.
I guess that’s why, tonight, I can’t help but feel like a part of me has died. I know it sounds dramatic, but it’s true.
Speaking of which, it brings to mind a great quote made by Steve during a commencement speech in 2005:
“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
And that is the truth.
I use Apple computers. This blog is written on an Apple computer, and always will be. If I write another blog after this someday, it too will be written on an Apple computer. I don’t know what Apple will be like by then, or what other sorts of devices it will introduce in the coming years, but if they are able to keep traveling the path Steve has forged I’m sure it will be something I – and the rest of the world – will enjoy using.
Thanks for everything, Steve. You really were a light in the dark.
“Apple has lost a visionary and a creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. STeve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.”
– Apple website, October 5, 2011