Steve Jobs was an inspiration to a huge number of people. Myself included. Not because of what he did for technology, although that is remarkable. Not even for what he helped Disney Pixar to become, and that too is remarkable. No, he will be remembered for his charisma, his passion and above all the exceptional attention to detail he was known for.
This won’t be a long piece. There are far better pieces out there to analyse his life, what he was doing, how he was to speak to, but I feel like I should add my contribution.
He was so passionate about his work, that he didn’t leave as CEO until a few months ago and wanted to remain close to the company even after, however short that time was to be. In many ways, his ideology for the world aligned with what many of us believed also, and he gave another to side to what had previously been created. Something more cared for, something more intuitive, something special.
He got the ball rolling with the iPod, way back in 2001. That really put the company on the map, where previously it had been a computer focused company. They revolutionised the music industry, in such a way that it’s still very difficult to remember what it was like before iTunes, music downloads and apps.
I bought my first iPod almost six or seven years ago. I knew all about listening to music on something other than a CD player, but this made listening to music fun and easy to find what you had available. I’ve had about three or four since, each time dumbfounded by the perfectionist realism of each one, something I see in myself and probably why I bought their products again and again.
I picked up a MacBook Pro after passing my GCSE’s and have used it for the last two years, my own laptop as something I had never had before. I dropped a fork on it once, and the mark of the four prongs still sits below the keyboard to this day. I was incredibly sad that I could do something like that to such a well-designed product.
But Steve as a person was inspirational to listen to, and every keynote (or ‘presentations’ as they are named this side of the pond) he addressed he did with such character, such passion and such simplicity. What they did was sold you something you couldn’t live without, not something that you’d benefit from. People worshipped him.
And for good reason. His philosophies on life ring true with many people, himself as an adopted child, building a company from a garage, and his long struggle with pancreatic cancer, which he unfortunately lost just last night, make all this much easier to listen to.
With me especially, I felt especially saddened to know that I would never see his stage presence again, his passion for innovation, great design and above all, as a down to earth guy, who cared about the people he was selling these products to above and beyond any of the competition.
He will be missed. Rest in peace, Steve.