But yesterday’s news of the lost of Steve Jobs compelled me to write my heart out here anyway.
Actually it first got my wheels spinning. Then compelled me to write.
After I once again was reminded that life is valuable and tomorrow is not promised, I started thinking about Steve – as a fellow blogger pointed out in a letter to Steve last year, it just seems right calling a CEO in Jeans and a Turtle Neck by his first name – I thought about his legacy and eventually wove his life into my inspiration.
Don’t worry, I wouldn’t dare try to duplicate Apple.
I didn’t know where to start with my thoughts. So I started with all Steve Jobs conversations I’ve ever had. From what I read, he had a reputation for being demanding and was not a “people person”. But I said years ago that if he ever somehow was ousted from Apple (I know, right? But actually it did happen in the 80’s) there would be countless companies who would offer him their first born to run their company.
Would you rather have a polite person or a person who gets things done?
What did he get done? Well, in the past 18 hrs probably thousands of articles have been written about this man, all listing the countless devices that we already knew he created.
But why did we love him? We didn’t. Most of us didn’t. Why? Most of us never knew him. How could I have an opinion of a man, either good or bad, that I’ve never met?
Don’t know much about him. I know he was very private about his personal life. He kept his family out of the public’s eye. I’ve never been to his house for coffee.
Thanks to Steve, what I can do is order a cup of coffee on my phone. I can put my entire music and video library (roughly currently at 110 gb’s worth) in my pocket and take it with me anywhere. I don’t need to lug around my bulky laptop. Instead, I carry something that is closer to the size of a magazine and much lighter than a laptop, yet does almost everything my laptop does (except for that pesky lack of Flash. Hey, nothing’s perfect).
My point is that Steve Jobs created a legacy that will live on because of his genius to make items that were needed by consumers but no one else considered. We didn’t care about his personality or lack thereof. It didn’t turn us off. But it didn’t attract us to him either. He created a brand that everyone could use.
And you don’t get more money than the Federal Government by creating one item that sells well.
He did it constantly.
I remember riding the bus to school and I had a backpack with me. I had my “disc man” (that sounds so laughable now) and had my cd’s stored in a ridiculously bulky case. If I wanted to hear one song on a disc, I had to break out the disc, pray that it wasn’t scratched, insert it, go to the song, play it, pray again that it wasn’t scratched, then once the song was over, take it out and repeat the process for another song.
Whew, I’m tired just reminiscing. No wonder I didn’t graduate college. I was tired before I got there.
When I was a kid my mom was always a fan of traveling. But she loved to explore by car, rather than flying since it was cheaper and she loved scenery. Even as an adult we would travel to visit my sister in college in New Mexico from LA by car. We left at midnight, which was my sleep time. I would sleep. Except every 45 mins to an hour, my sleep was interrupted by my mom nudging me to wake up so I could change the cd.
Oh how I wished that an iPod and an FM Transmitter was in the realm of possibilities back then.
Also, remember those cd holder visors? We thought they were so cool because we could keep about a dozen discs in them for easy access. We were so lame.
Well, maybe not lame. We just didn’t know that anything could exist that would eliminate such things. If so, it would have been created instead of the disc-man, which would supercede the walk-man.
Whoa, I started off just writing what is in my mind and here I am at the 720 word mark.
I gotta wrap this up.
Well actually, only about eight people are gonna read this anyway, so let me finish venting. This is important stuff here.
The best example I could use for why we love this guy, is to tell you about myself and my family.
I have an iPod Classic, iPhone 4, iPad 1G, and had an Apple TV that I didn’t like (again, nothing is perfect).
My daughter just turned 5 years old in Sept and you should see her navigate “our” iPad (when it exactly became ours I do not know. I’m still waiting for her to “put in” on the cost).
My mom just turned 31 years old for the umpteenth time in March, making her a medical miracle of having a son older than her (her words).
My mom is far from technologically advanced. In fact, she often fights it. I told her I was going to get her in to the new century if it kills me. So about six months ago, I got her an ipod touch (the one small gadget I don’t have or never had from Apple). She loves it. She navigates it like a pro. She takes it to the gym to listen to her music. Now that she finally remembered she can access wifi at her home, she remembers to use the streaming apps and games from time to time. She got addicted to Angry Birds. And when I say addicted, I mean ADDICTED. This woman actually called me and told me real life birds were starting to sound like the birds in the game to her (insert Twilight Zone music RIGHT HERE).
About two weeks ago, I walked her through downloading these albums she wanted on itunes. On itunes! This is the same woman who did not want any album that wasn’t a physical cd because, as she put it (brace yourself), she wanted to read the jacket! The jacket? Do people really read those? Why? You don’t know any of those people the artist is thanking. Nor does it matter who wrote and produced the song/album. Either I like it or I don’t.
We’re in an era where we name numbers to tell a friend our favorite songs on an album.
“I like #3, 5 and 9. But #6 is my favorite”.
Wait, what? Are you ordering a combo at a local burger joint?
And now, my mom has jumped into the new day. I’m proud of her.
The Mrs isn’t technologically advanced either. I just got her an Android phone in May (I KNOW, I KNOW. But she’s on that raggedy T-Mobile network, who as of Oct 14 when the new iphone drops, will be the only major carrier to not carry the iphone), replacing her Blackberry. To give you an idea of her interest in technology, when I told her yesterday that Steve Jobs died, she replied….”who”.
Who? Lady where have you been? He’s the main competition for you because he is the only other person I wanted to marry besides you! She breathed a sigh of relief.
But even she appreciated the intricacies of Steve’s products. Mainly because it is the ONLY thing that keeps our daughter occupied while she’s spending hours in a chair getting her hair braided, combed, dried, picked, brushed, and otherwise tortured. Kids movies uploaded to the device, or mobile internet access allowing her to access her favorite kid shows on Neflix are priceless to my wife’s nerves and my daughter’s backside. She may have just allowed me to marry Steve Jobs if I promised to give our daughter her own ipad.
My sis is a fellow iPhone 4 user. She must be techy right? Um, not exactly. I gave her my old 80 gb ipod Classic months ago and it still sits on her dresser untouched. Why? Because “I can’t get anyone to put the songs on my computer and connect it to the ipod”. You know who you sound like, right? It runs in the female genes in my family apparently.
Basically I said all of this to say…… thank you Steve Jobs.
He created products that both my – at the time she first used it – 4 yr old daughter and 31 year old mother of a 32 year old son can navigate with ease. That’s important because as you learn more about what you can do, it becomes more useful in your everyday life.
Whoa, 1456 words. Let me wrap this up for the one person still reading at this point. (Hi mom, I love you for always staying with me)
Steve Jobs spent 56 years on this Earth. He revolutionalized technology. But his concepts will likely be around for longer than his tenure in this world. Who cares if I didn’t meet him or he could be mean? What you leave behind is what people will remember. He did something I’d been trying to do for years….bring my mom into new technology. He gave my daughter a platform to learn counting and spelling in her hands or watch a movie to keep her entertained. To make my wife not stress about the baby being restless. And that’s just the tip of what these products did for me and my family. The rest would take an entire book. And my friends wouldn’t read it. But my mom would. (Hi mom, threw that out there because I know you’re the only one still reading).
And mom, I’ll leave you with this. His stamp left on the world has taken me to where my legacy is woven into the passing of Steve.
It has motivated me to get my act together and do something that leaves my stamp on this world. Tomorrow is not promised and when I leave, I want to be able to leave something in this world that people could remember me by. I want to start with just not being a procrastinator anymore and actually finishing what I start, or what I think of.
If Steve Jobs had merely thought about products that would revolutionize the world without actually putting in the work to bring them to life, then when he passed away yesterday you would have had the same reaction my wife.