Steve Jobs is dead…
I can’t even begin to express how I feel about this. Numb, really. I know how much of an impact this man has had upon me, even though I have never met him or even had a chance to attend a live “Stevenote.”
If you don’t read beyond this point, please take a look at this video of Steve Jobs giving a commencement speech at Stanford in 2005. It’s one of the most compelling things I’ve seen in a long time.
Steve Jobs 2005 Commencement Speech
It’s so weird to be this distraught over the loss of someone I’ve never met. Yet, unlike so many people, I have at least some inkling of just how much Steve has made an impact on my life.
I know because I own many of the very products he created. I know firsthand that the iPhone is simply one of the best smartphones out there, and it has been and continues to leap ahead of its competition. I’ve experience the “magic” of the iPad. I’m typing this on one of the Macintosh computers I own.
Don’t believe it? There are several sites that have images of smartphones “Pre iPhone” and “Post iPhone”; look at those images and try to tell me that Apple and Steve Jobs have not had an impact on the market.
Don’t believe it? When was the last time you bought a music CD? How long before you ripped said CD to MP3 or some other audio format in order drop onto an iPod, iPhone, or other device?
Don’t believe it? Look at the success that Apple has had with the iPad in 18 months. Apple used this quote in yesterday’s press conference from someone (I forgot who) ” There’s no such thing as a tablet market, only an iPad market.” Look at all of the companies trying to jump on that bandwagon.
I’ve seen how Steve’s influence on others, both meeting people who have worked at Apple and who have gone “indie” and have abandoned the “safe, secure” jobs in order to develop software for these products.
It’s hard to describe. I guess the best way to experience it would be to spend a week at Microsoft’s Tech Ed visiting with people, then go to Apple’s WWDC. Hell, just go to any one of several iOS or Mac developer conferences that have been springing up outside of WWDC.
People at TechEd are there largely because their respective employers paid to send them there. WWDC attendees are people spending their own money, their own vacation time in order to be there. Others are already indie developers, and attending is part of the business, but it’s also a chance to spend time with other like-minded developers both during the conference and after-hours.
Spend thirty minutes talking with these indie developers. Spend thirty minutes talking to developer Mike Lee about Appsterdam. All of these guys have been “touched” by Steve. They don’t want to just make software, they want to make GREAT software. They aspire to make products that live up to the high standards that Apple sets, both through its guidance to developers in documentation, but more importantly, through the amazing applications that they build in-house.
The iOS/MacOS developer community is a great community of people always willing to help others with their problems as well as help encourage others on their own trek to indiehood.
Losing Steve Jobs so suddenly and at such a young age ( or, more relevant, an age that is a lot closer to my own age than I’d care for) makes you wonder what it is that you’re doing with your own life.
I want to follow my heart, but as much as it is easy for someone (even Steve) to say it, it’s not so easy to do. Maybe part of it is simply not knowing. For me, maybe the problem is that I’m not taking the time to stop and listen to what my heart truly wants. Whose dream am I following? Mine? Or someone else’s?
To an extent, I am so deep into this rut professionally that I’ve been digging for myself for longer than I care to admit, it’s hard to see above the rim.
But… I want to get out. I need to get out.
Why? Because that’s what Steve would do.
Thank you, Steve, for everything you’ve done. You’ve found a way to capture the future and put it into our hands.
Stay hungry. Stay foolish.