Thursday, October 6, 2011

Remembering Steve Jobs

This post is difficult to write, and it's funny as to why it is so difficult to write: I never met Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs was, for all intents and purposes, the CEO of a global corporation who only knows I exist because of my AppleID I created when I purchased my first iPod back in 2005, and through their financial reports due to the products I have purchased through them. Why should I be so saddened that a billionaire with more money than I can fathom is gone?

Then I realize why this post is so difficult: I'm writing it on my Macbook, which as you know (unless you live under a rock) is made by Apple. I often say one of my biggest mistakes in life was waiting 22 1/2 years before FINALLY switching from Windows to Mac.

Meanwhile, I'm charging my iPad on said Macbook. My iPod nano sits in my car as my playlist whenever sports radio is unlistenable and I also use when I go on runs or walks.

Also meanwhile, I'm finally going to take the iPhone plunge when the iPhone 4S is available. iPhone is a phone I've sought after for years but couldn't take the plunge because it wasn't available for the wireless carrier my family was on. (Now, ironically, I work for the carrier that has carried the iPhone all along, and am paying my $200 early termination fee to leave my family's carrier and go onto my own plan with said original iPhone carrier. Go figure, right?) Apple indirectly writes my paychecks through their incredible mobile products. I literally would not be able to sell products the way I do without Steve Jobs' influence, and I literally would not get paid the way I do without him.

So, needless to say, Apple has a tremendous influence on my life via Steve's vision. You may be the staunchest Windows or Android fan and refuse to cave to Apple's "closed ecosystem," but whether you like it or not, Steve Jobs' influence on your life is as indirectly impacted as it is directly impacted on my life.

Everything that is fundamental in how we communicate or use technology today has been either created by Steve Jobs or created in response to Steve Jobs' creations.

-Without the Mac there is no Windows, or a mouse to navigate. There is no debating this.

-Without the iPhone there's a good chance that all the rage would still be "dumbphones" with full keyboards instead of the move to touchscreen smartphones we have seen in the past few years. Hell, every single smartphone that has been introduced in the past four years has been in direct response to the iPhone. Even touchscreen dumbphones today try to be a primitive version of the iPhone.

-Without the iPhone, Android wouldn't be a household name because Verizon wouldn't have marketed the "Droid" brand so heavily because they desperately needed an iPhone competitor. BlackBerry wouldn't have moved to the interface that they have with BB OS6 and 7, Windows Phone would still be this impossible to use mess of an interface that Joe Public would have no idea how to use. Steve Jobs brought smartphones to the masses, and made them easier to use than even the simplest of flip phones.

-Without the iPad, the tablet market doesn't even exist. Everything before it was those God-awful "Tablet PC's" that were completely unintuitive.  I can only imagine how convenient having an iPad would have been in college, because I could store all my notes and textbooks on the device.

-Of course, without the iPod, we'd all still be using those horrific MP3 players of the past.

To lose such an influential figure at an age where he still had plenty of life left if he stayed healthy is a true tragedy for this world.

The biggest lesson that I'll learn from Steve Jobs is how to run a successful business. Chances are I'll never own a business like Apple. But the principles used by Apple are principles that every business should follow, but they sadly do not because of too many accountants and MBA's on the Board of Directors are focused on formulas and operations algorithms instead of focusing on what matters most: PRODUCT. Sure, Apple still has a focus on profit margins and business operations, but they do not compromise the quality of their product in order to reach those goals.  Apple doesn't use focus groups because they (rightfully) believe they know what the public wants before they even think they want it. There's a "different" culture at Apple, and most truly successful, game-changing businesses have that "different" approach (Chipotle being a perfect example...they're literally the Apple of the food industry).  It's truly a shame that more businesses don't study Apple's corporate philosophy and try to replicate it...I think our economy would rebound as a result, and more jobs with higher paying wages would be created in the process.

So, when you think look at the total body of work, it is not at all surprising to see why so many are deeply saddened by the passing of a legend. The candles and flowers outside of Apple Retail Stores and outside of Apple's corporate campus are certainly warranted.  Those who aren't saddened by his passing either have not experienced the joy of his creations, or are ignorant of his impact on the competitions' products they do use. Thank you, Steve Jobs. Thank you for your incredible influence on my life and I hope your influence on Apple will live on for decades after your passing so our lives can be enriched further. You will be sorely missed.

Sent from my Macbook.


  1. The last decade has been huge for Apple, but his contributions, innovations and inventions laid the foundation for computing today and everything that is affected by their use.

  2. Don't forget all the great jobs he created for those sweat shop employees in China.