My Thoughts on Steve Jobs

Wanted to share some thoughts about Steve Jobs’ passing today.  In my lifetime I won’t see another — at the same level as Steve influencing both business and technology.  The tweets I’ve seen today from my tech friends and cycling friends have told the impact.

I didn’t think I’d see the second coming of Apple.  When I was very young, all the cool families had an Apple.  I was stuck with the uncool TRS – 80.  I remember wondering around the malls looking at the Apple from afar.  Then x86 took hold on me.  When I was at Mayo, I remember our first electronic medical record project, and the failed, heaping pile of Macs that sat in our building waiting to be donated away.  But for me there was a sadness even at that time.  I wanted the Newton to be successful.  NEXT was interesting to me, being a hard core Unix guy.  The second coming was a great thing to see!

The legacy for me is both a mixture like Steve’s grasp on the world — business and design and it just so happens he chose to enlighten IT.  I can’t imagine the complexity that I would have in my personal and business life without Apple. I am 100% sure that I would not have thought I’d ever say that in the 90s and even early 2000s.  Two of my favorite Jobisms…

Real artists ship — always move the ball forward.  Perhaps the 4s is that.

Don’t ask customers what they want — Ford said the same thing.  Jobs took this to another level, and reduced complexity in a convenient and always on way.

On the business side Steve took on the music industry and brought the consumers choice.  We probably didn’t see this at the time but it was a huge impact on how we view the music world today.

RIP Steve. Thanks for the ride.

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1 comment so far

  1. Matt Wallace on

    Steve’s death has shaken me up more than expected. I’m not sure why. I’m a sucker for that quintessentially American “we built a revolution in our garage” story… but how many guys start a company like that, get ousted as it goes off the rails, and then return and bring it back to life, bigger than ever?

    The disregard for convention… the LSD, the buddhism, the “reality distortion field”, the fanatical attention to detail… Then there’s the fact that Jobs, ousted from Apple, made $4b off Pixar. How does a guy start Apple in his parents’ garage, and then somehow do it again?

    Then you trace the threads and wonder… if there was no Jobs, would Bill Atkinson have made Hypercard? Without Hypercard, would Tim Berners-Lee have invented the WWW?

    Certainly, Apple was, like Xerox and Sun, one of those nebulas that simply gave birth to so much of the industry. But the rise and fall and rise story is so amazing it wouldn’t be believable as fiction.

    And yet he was only 56. This was a man who created incredible things, defied convention, and changed the world… and it is a painful reminder of our mortality to see his bright flame snuffed out so soon.

    RIP Steve, indeed.


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