It’s strange the things you remember. As soon as I heard that Steve Jobs passed away, I thought back to 2001 when I worked at a middle school in Roanoke, Virginia. I had a grant funded position and some funds that allowed us to invest in technology for the school. The computer guy (Gary) was an amazing teacher and was always looking for best ways to engage students. He had encouraged me to buy Macs for the school and we did.
One day at lunch, I distinctly recall talking to him about buying stocks and asking him if he had invested in any company. He told me that he had invested in Apple. I was shocked as it seemed to me that Microsoft owned the computer world as it stood at that moment.
It seemed like a crazy bet to me. He told me that Apple was going to make a come-back because Apple was all about innovation based on design. It all sounded good to me but all I knew was what I saw so I invested a little bit of money on a ‘safe’ company called AOL.
So now it’s October 6th, 2011, I see photos and articles about Steve Jobs and feel sad. Why do I feel sad when I never met him? I look down at the iPad I’m typing on and have my answer. Steve’s ideas changed us. He knew there was beauty and wonderment inside and outside devices. He wanted us to experience technology with ease and grace. He opened up new worlds…no more going to start to shut down the computer. He allowed our devices to be accessible, to have an easy learning curve..not a huge user’s manual within a clunky box.
Steve thought of it all. From the moment you lay eyes on that slick box to the moment you slide your new device out, it is all part of the experience. It is the texture, the colors, the design, the feeling of that first moment. Turning on your new device is a thing of beauty– Ready to use, not hours of reading ahead. Steve respected us and knew we deserved the best.
But he went even further, he saw what didn’t even exist. I remember seeing the iPad days after it’s release. My friend waited for hours to get one and was like a small child on Christmas morning showing it to me. As she laughed and demonstrated what it could do, all I could think was this is a total game changer.
For me the game changing is more concrete. I have an iPad application that is going to launch soon. I never in my wildest dreams would have thought that I could have designed an application. I mean it blows me away to see all of the wonderful (and not so wonderful) apps that people have designed and how many doors have opened. It’s like Steve knew he could give us the most amazing platform to create our dreams on. From simply reading books to playing games to seeing the world differently it’s all there.
Steve Jobs did what we are all capable of doing. He felt passion for creation and design. He believed he could change the world and he did. Rest in Peace.