Today the world is a little less beautiful, because yesterday, Steve Jobs died.
I have no profound story of how I met Mr. jobs, or how I’ve used his products for decades, the truth is I hated every experience with a Mac I’d ever had until a couple of years ago (except for editing…Macs always rocked at editing, and Final Cut Pro was a joy to work with).
I was a late convert, it took a long time, and it all started with an MP3 player.
We were all given iPod Mini’s at TSN as an annual gift, it was a nice little device, and I used the hell out of it, discovering podcasts, and remembering my love for non-mainstream talk radio. Suddenly I could listen to two hours of tech news every week, or a weekly video games show. I was given an iPod video, and loved seeing how video could suddenly be in your pocket (plus 30 gigs was enough to keep my entire music library with me).
My habits changed and soon I was no longer buying CD’s, why bother when in 3 minutes I could have excellent quality audio files on my iPod?
I strayed a little and experimented with a Microsoft Zune (still ahead of its time doing things like wireless sync and social media connections 3 years before anyone else) , but soon moved to an iPod touch and then an iPhone.
I haven’t looked back, the iPhone is the most amazing, ubiquitous device I’ve ever touched. It is always with me, and is everything from my camera to my diary.
We bought a 27″ iMac at work, and I fell in love with it. Editing was a breeze, and I had to admit that OSX had come a long way. Shortly after, I bought my first Mac, a used white MacBook. I’ve never looked back, and while I own a couple of PC’s in the house still, Apple has a prominent place in my home.
When the iPad came out, I immediately coveted it, but I swore to wait until the v2 came out. In the mean time I bought an Apple TV, and got Char an iPod touch.
In the spring I bought an aluminum 13″ Macbook Pro, I’m not one to “love” my computer, it’s a tool, but I actually love my MacBook Pro. I had always heard Apple converts say “it just works”, and that’s the case for me. Every now and then I have to log into a Windows box, and I dread it. Things are slower for no reason, and you can tell that there’s always a ton of overhead going on. When a window stops responding on my Mac for some reason it’s totally isolated and never takes down the system.
The iPad has been a revolution to me. I answer 90% of my email on it, read all of my news on it, and consume most other media through it. Plus I do weird things like take notes, manage my server, and do a little drawing.
It truly is magical, and what Mr. Jobs made his company understand was that technology is an enabler, and the best technology moves out of the user’s way.
Steve Jobs has made beautiful products, and he has challenged the rest of us to not settle for good enough. I think it’s fair to say that a lot of my desire to deliver awesomeness and never settle for “okay” or “mediocre” is because of the inspiration of Steve Jobs.
Without a doubt Apple’s products command a premium, but they should, I sat for five hours with my laptop on battery power last night, and my iPad regularly gets 8-10 hours of solid use. They don’t overheat, they don’t crash randomly, and the touch experience is so simple that Maks has been using an iOS device since he was one and a half! Both he and Kaylin can navigate around on an iPod, iPhone, or iPad easily.
The fact that he had the vision to create these products has allowed others to iterate on them and create new versions, which has inspired Apple to continue to be better. They were catalyst products that boosted us forward decades in innovation to the point where science fiction and science fact are the same.
He may not have hewn the brushed aluminum, or coded the interfaces that make everything Apple touches awesome, but all indications are that he micro-managed the CRAP out of the organization to get them to where they are. He built a company that will go on and do amazing things because of people like Jony Ive, and Tim Cook.
Apple will survive and thrive long after Steve is gone, and the world is better because of it.