When you think of Google, you think of search.
When you think of Microsoft, you think of Windows, Office, a big company.
When you think of Apple, though, you think of Steve Jobs; Steve Jobs was Apple personified.
I don’t really follow a lot of the comings and goings of company CEOs; the companies will be there long after the CEO departs. However, with Steve, it was different. He epitomized everything - mostly good and some bad - about Apple.
I will admit that I have not always been an Apple fan and still don’t consider myself “hardcore” although I have a MacBook Pro, an iPhone 4, an iPad and and iPad 2. Believe it or not, I don’t have these devices just because they’re made by Apple; I use each one for very specific and functional reasons. My MacBook Pro is, by far, the best made laptop I’ve ever used. The trackpad is perfection, the keyboard is exactly what I need, backlit keys make my work easier and… it just works! it looks good, too. In fact, I’ve found myself relying less and less on the virtual Windows instance that I have running on my Mac and using the native Mac applications instead. I’ve moved from being “anti-Mac” to being right in the middle and having a better understanding for how and why the Mac works like it does.
That’s all thanks to Steve.
It’s a well-known fact that Steve pushed for perfection, but what always came through even more was his sheer joy at releasing to the world new and innovative products that people didn’t even know they needed. He, literally, created new markets and moved Apple from being on the verge of a “has been” computer company to being the world’s largest consumer electronics company. It is also Jobs’ products that have spread headed today’s “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)” concepts and forced the consumerization of IT.
Some consider Steve Jobs to have been ruthless and mean. That may be true; I did not know him personally, but as I watch my children use our iPads for learning adventures and for entertainment, it reminds me that Apple under Jobs has probably had a more profound impact on me that I’ve ever realized.
Lots of CEOs have come and gone in my time in the technology industry. This is the first time that I am actually sad to see the passing of an American corporate leader.
Steve: Thank you and may you always rest in peace.