In 1998, I got an iMac for Christmas. A blue iMac. It was the first high tech device that I ever bought that I had a CRUSH on. That I WANTED. That I LOVED. It was the first device that I owned that had a soul. In fact, if I look at every device I’ve owned in the last decade that I’ve LOVED, that I feel passionately about, all have that same kind of soul, and they are all Apple products. And my iPhone, well, my iPhone I’ve loved most of all. I’d like to say I’ve loved my iPad, but I haven’t seen it since it was given to me. (Turns out Alek loves products with a soul too.) Oh, and I am proud to say that since the launch of the iTunes store in 2003, I have paid for every single piece of music and every video in my iTunes library.
I have considered Steve Jobs to be a demi-god since I bought that first blue iMac and I have worshiped him ever since. Maybe that is why I am so sad today. The god that created the sexiest, most elegant devices on the planet, the god that created the most user friendly operating systems, the god that brought me $0.99 songs that I get to own forever, the god that made opening up the box and turning on my brand new laptop EASY and FUN, the god that made me feel like I could take a decent photo, the god that made me feel like I had the right to self-publish, the only god that could use the term “game changer” and get away with it, is gone.
As someone that works in high-tech marketing, I feel like this demi-god status was well-deserved. I can’t tell you how many meetings I’ve sat in where the gold standard of whatever we were talking about (website design! retail storefronts! keynote presentations! product packaging! user experience! product photography! documentation! TV ads! logo design!) was whatever Apple was doing at the time. See it isn’t just the game-changing products, that SOUL that I was referring to earlier, that is the Apple brand. That brand is what makes us fall in love.
I’ve always felt like Steve Jobs and I were kindred spirits. I crave and I value swift decision making. I crave and I value focusing on very very few things and executing on those things very very well. I crave what’s next. I crave being progressive. I crave abandoning the way that we’ve always done things and finding ways to do things better. I cannot sit idly by while my organization is heading in bad direction. I love nothing more than a revolution and I will not be quiet. And yes, sometimes my passion gets me into trouble, but based on my 15 years of experience, we do not have enough people like Steve Jobs in corporate America.
We don’t have enough people like Steve Jobs on this planet. It’s amazing what you can do with a life. I think that the best way I can honor this stranger that I somehow feel connected to, this person that changed the game, that started a revolution is to follow his own advice:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important: have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”