The first and only tribute post I ever wrote prior to this was dedicated to the most influential person in music. That was July 2009 and of course, it was Michael Jackson.
Today I write this from a completely different and less emotional mind set, but with total appreciation to a man that not only changed the way in which whole world uses technology, but also how said technology influenced my life.
As I sit here writing this from my Macbook Pro I think about what it is about the products Jobs inspired that united a planet.
I purchased my first Apple computer in 2003. I was studying Music Production at Music Academy and it was stated to me by my tutor that to really get the most out the course, I needed to purchase a home computer. The decision that followed was crtical to my career; not because of the choice between a PC or a Mac, but because I didn’t have the money to buy a computer, or a job to save for one, therefore I had to sell my pair of Technics 1210MK3 turntables and my mixer so that I could afford the machine. This decision meant the end of my DJ career as I knew it, but the beginning of my love for Apple.
Eight years on and the only computers I have owned have been Apple. A quick break down of my Apple history:
- 2003: Apple eMac
- 2006: Apple iMac G5
- 2008: Apple iPhone (1st Gen)
- 2008: Apple Macbook (black)
- 2010: Apple iPhone 3GS
- 2010: Apple Macbook Pro
- 2010: Apple iPad (unfortunately stolen recently)
- The line that people used to stereotype Apple products with a number of years ago was, ‘Only creatives, designers and musicians buy Mac’s. Business people buy PC’s.’ I used to consider myself part of the stereotyped bunch; until that bunch became the rest of the world.
Now, like most of you, I didn’t know Steve Jobs. While I would love to have met him, from what I have read over the years, I am not sure I would have wanted to work for him. A ruthless perfectionist and at times being quoted as ‘a dictator’ are words that make me shudder. However, most company CEO’s and successful business leaders will agree that to reach the top and stay there for as long as Apple have, you need to have a powerful leader who can make the decisions others won’t want to.
In terms of products, I don’t know if Steve Jobs’ single handedly stood up in a room with his idea for the Mac, the iPhone or the iPad. I don’t even want to research who actually came up with these ideas. I just like to think that this one man drove his vision and ambitions into everyone else that worked below him so that the whole company could develop innovative products that make mundane tasks enjoyable.
I remember the articles and passages I have read about Jobs’ history, from where he created Apple with Steve Wozniak; was then fired/sacked/resigned (whatever happened) from Apple in 1985, set up his own company off the back of this, which was then acquired by Apple in 1996 and from there he became CEO of Apple until he stepped down some six weeks ago.
That short summary alone is enough to make me believe that Steve Jobs clearly had drive, heart, passion, ambition, tekkers, the X-Factor, Superman powers and Merlin magic.
It was these fundamentals that now live on within Apple products that empower us to want to connect, write, create, build, design, develop, research and download more than we ever did before. Even if some of that is achieved using Microsoft Office.
Yes Steve Jobs was just a man. Most of us never met him and the world won’t stop now that he is gone. But like Michael Jackson or Princess Diana, the world has few real visionaries who are willing to give everything to achieve what they believe in. Why aren’t there more people like them? Because we live in a world where it’s apparently better to be quiet than loud, hidden than exposed, copy rather than innovate and normal rather than different.
It takes an individual like Jobs to prove the world otherwise. And it takes the death of these people for the world to wake up and realise.
That is why the world will mourn for Steve Jobs and that is why even if you don’t own any Apple products or care that this man is no longer with us, if you ever felt a fire in your heart to make a difference (big or small), you should appreciate what Steve Jobs did for the world.
“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.” Steve Jobs – Stanford University (2005)
Bill Gates showed the world that geeks can be rich. Steve Jobs showed the world that geeks can be both rich and cool.