Today Steve Jobs, a truly remarkable visionary and perfectionist, passed away. As I write this, it still is hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that yes, this is reality. I could go on and on reflecting on all of the things Steve did, and all of the great products that created. As you know, that list would be quite extensive. Rather than doing that, I’ll give a more personal account of how Steve Jobs touched my life.
When I was in high school still trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, I had been buying gadgets left and right. If it had batteries or plugged into power, I’d buy it or plead for my parents to buy it for me. I’ve always been fascinated by gadgets whether they be music players, phones, computers, or something else entirely. It’s always been an interest of mine. But it wasn’t necessarily a passion or love of mine. It was just an interest and a hobby.
Fast forward to my senior year of high school just before I went to college. I had to get my first laptop. After first having a Dell & having countless issues, then an IBM only to find out it wouldn’t be best suited for what I needed out of it, I landed on getting a Powerbook G4. It was only a mere hours into using it that I discovered there was something very unique and spectacular about it. I suddenly wasn’t just amazed by the fact that it was a computer to fiddle with; It was a marvel of modern design too. The night I came home with that laptop was a turning point in my life of dealing with technology, and the way I thought about it from then on. Instead of thinking a computer was no more than a cheap collection of parts that I’d just hope wouldn’t fall apart on me, it was a well thought-out, elegantly simple work of art that one could love the same way they would a car.
From there, I was hooked. Once I owned my first Apple product I just wanted to know what they were going to do next. The way Steve made each announcement so exciting and so riveting made me pay attention to more than just the gadgets themselves, but the company and the ‘big picture’. I started following the tech industry constantly, first with TechTV and then later with TWiT (This Week in Tech). It was the combination of Steve Jobs making excellent products and Leo Laporte appealing to the broadcaster in me to cover them that lead me to discover my main goal in life: To combine my years of radio experience with my passion for this technology and become involved with the tech media. So in some ways, I feel like I could thank Steve Jobs & Apple for helping me find my niche in the world.
So, yes…physically and in body, Steve has left us. And I know I, along with millions of people around the world will surely miss him. But if we’ve paid attention and learned anything from the example he’s set by being the fearless bold leader that he was…then his philosophies, his ideas, the perspectives he’s shared with us, and his influence can live on forever.