How Steve changed things

An homage to the best innovator of our time: Steve Jobs.

There are many amazing stories and anecdotes being shared about Steve Jobs and his passing this week. Steve had a dramatic effect on industry, introducing the most powerful extension of our brains, the personal computer, to the world and making it accessible to anyone. Not just big business, the traditional focus of technology makers, but you and me. While Microsoft was busy milking their cash-cow office suite, Apple created simple applications like iTunes and iPhoto so that normal, everyday folks could listen to music and look at photos together.

Apple has had a truly remarkable effect on my life. I have used Apple products for 10 years, since the first iPod came out. A Macbook has been the primary tool I’ve used continuously for over 8 years…that’s every day for 8-12 hours a day for 3,000 days.

So when I sat down and thought about what I would write as a tribute to Steve Jobs, who in my mind is the most brilliant innovator of the modern era, I first thought of his amazing 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech in which he lays out his philosophy on living. In this speech Steve’s life comes into focus, his motivations are exposed, and he looks death in the face. What could I possibly say in a blog post that communicates how I feel about the effect he’s had and continues to have?

But then I remembered a picture I took of my two-year-old daughter that captures just how profoundly Steve changed things. It perfectly embodies Steve’s vision of computing and what Apple is trying to do: change the world for every man, woman, and child. And given that the words “iPad” and “iPhone” are now part of my two-year-old’s everyday language, I would say that though he died much too early at the age of 56, Steve fully succeeded in realizing his vision.

So thank you Steve, and all the people at Apple who do such amazing, life-changing work.

Steve's vision

Published: October 8th, 2011