I found myself surprised at how much the news of Steve Jobs’ death moved me.
It’s only been a few minutes since I heard Steve Jobs had finally lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. I read his obituary on CNN.com, realizing that they, like everyone else, had it ready to roll the moment they got the news. I guess that’s true with all celebrities, business leaders and politicians.
Maybe it’s a sign of one’s fame or notoriety that your obituary is out there, waiting for you.
Apple and Steve Jobs had more noticeable impact on my life than probably any other business or CEO. His impact on what’s considered to be good design and good user interface cannot be overstated.
Every day I spend ten or more hours working with the Apple interface, whether it’s on my MacBook Pro, my iPad, my iPhone, or even my classic iPod. (There’s just not enough memory for my music collection on the iPod Touch.)
My first Apple product was the Apple IIc, and I remember writing a simple software program that played “I Spy”; my dad, a child psychologist, used it with his patients as a game. I remember having a Mac classic in college with only one floppy disk drive, and having to swap out floppy discs 20, 30, 40 times to install software on the computer. I lost count of the number of Grateful Dead bootleg tape cases I made with MacPaint. I made beer money from typing other students’ business papers on my Mac, too.
Since starting flyte I can’t count the number of times clients over the years have pointed to Apple.com when we’ve asked them to list websites that they admire from a design standpoint.
While a lot of the inevitable remembrance pieces will talk about what has been lost with his passing–as well as what this means for Apple going forward–I can’t help but focus on all we’ve gained.
Just think of all the people who were able to compose music, make movies, design websites, and share stories using the software and hardware that he inspired or oversaw. Imagine all the art and creative work that wouldn’t have been created if we didn’t have these amazing, easy-to-use tools at our disposal.
The creative output that he inspired is beyond measure, and for that we all have something to be thankful for.
I leave you with this great quote that was referenced in the CNN piece, something he said to the Stanford graduates in 2005:
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.
I do love it, Steve. And I have you to thank for that.