A Tribute to Steve Jobs

This week Steve jobs announced that he was going to retire from Apple computer. It is a sad day, but not an unexpected one. Jobs has battled pancreatic cancer for years. That he has continued this long has been a blessing.

I am hardly a Mac fanboy. Although I own Mac products, I primarily use PCs. I bought an iMac three years ago. And it is only within the last year that I got an iPhone, less than 4 months since I got an iPad2.

So while i generally prefer to use PCs. Macs have been an influence throughout my life. The first computer I ever used was an Apple 2 at a friends house. At my first job the office bought a couple original Macintosh computers. I went crazy designing flyers and working with HyperCard. My next assignment gave me the chance to work on NeXT computers, which Jobs started when he was fired from Apple. They were beautiful and fast computers even though the monitor was monochrome.

I’ve made movies and slide shows on my iMac. And now I spend about half my computer time reading on the iPad2.

Here is a man who has  created amazing products for over 30 years – that I have used for almost my whole life. He is so influential that presenters have copied his briefing style for the past 10 years.

Unlike a wonderful inventor like Thomas Edison, Jobs’ expertise was not inventing things, or discovering things, but taking existing products and packaging them in a way that consumers loved.

A lot of smart people hate him for that. They have wonderful IQs and have worked really hard, but they haven’t had the success of Steve Jobs. These people misunderstand the “worth” of things. The value of something isn’t measured by what you put into it, but what people get out of it. Steve created value for consumers – who willingly bought his products by the ton.  His message is simple and powerful (as I wrote in a post directed at graduating seniors).  He has remained consistent and productive throughout his life.  Unlike Bill Gates (as demonstrated in his TED2010 speech), he doesn’t seem to believe the fact that he is good at making money means he is qualified to run the world.

For over three decades Steve Jobs has been a driving innovator in the world of personal computing.  He was never Time Magazine’s Man of the Year. (Perhaps that is a good thing – it looks like a rogue’s gallery of villains from the 20th century.)  He is not a saint.  He never asked us to believe anything about him.  He just offered us products to make our lives better…

They did.

Thank you Steve,  for all those wonderful products.  You will be sorely missed.

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