Thursday, October 06, 2011

Thank you Steve Jobs for being brilliant

I've been a pretty sold out Apple fan boy for about a year and a half now. But this hasn't always been the case. For the longest time I was anti-Mac, to the extent of poking fun at Apple people. At the time there was good reason. To the question, "Why do you like that thing?" most people would say one of two basic answers: "It's just so easy" or "It's just so simple." For me a PC was easy and simple to use, so these arguments for a Mac told me more about the person than really anything about the computers themselves. 

But there did come a time when I needed to buy a new machine. While doing research on the type of computer I'd want for my Swiss Army Knife of needs/tasks, the results always came back the same: MacBook Pro.


Selling out and buying an iPhone the previous year had both killed off my anti-Mac attitude and started me down the slippery slope to famdom. I started visiting Apple stores to play around with the Macs, messed around with friend's computers when they were around. Long story short, three weeks later I was placing my order, and since the box came to the door I haven't looked back. Evidence of my conversion: when our family was in San Francisco last February we took an afternoon to drive the hour south simply so that I could visit the Apple Campus in Cupertino. And yes, I have the t-shirt to prove it:

I'd like to correct those who told me that a Mac was "simple" and "easy." These words are indeed true, but incredibly lacking. "Focused" and "empowering" are more accurate. You don't have to access the under the hood techie stuff. It just works, plain and simple. The removal of bios and all its friends from the user's vision allows you to do the things you need to do. All of the tech distractions are removed, so just write, just work, just play, just create. 

My drinking more and more of the Apple Kool-Aid over the last year and a half has primarily been because in that time I've grown to really respect and admire Steve Jobs. As a innovator and creator, as a leader and speaker - he was phenomenal and exceptional. Not perfect, but incredibly talented. I've watched numerous old keynotes over the last year; not really caring about the content of what he was saying but wanting to learn how he said it.  His standards for quality, detail, focus, and simplicity can be taken into any craft. His protection of the company brand and his dedication to fulfill their vision without being moved by the masses can stir conversation in any field.

Then last night, while out on a date with Jeannette, I received in a three minute window almost ten different text messages or emails from various people, "Did you hear about Steve Jobs?" 

So I join with other Apple fans today to say good-bye to Steve. Because it's sad. Not a, "I have my head on the desk and I'm sobbing" type sad. But sad in the "Wow - that guy was brilliant, and now that brilliance is gone" kind of way. And that is indeed a sad thing.

Thank you Steve for being brilliant. 
And thank you for providing us with tools through which we can be brilliant as well.

Seth Godin summarized these ideas in a simple blog post he sent out last night, shortly after the announcement of Steve Job's death. Copying it from his blog, here is Godin's "A eulogy of action"

I can't compose a proper eulogy for Steve Jobs. There's too much to say, too many capable of saying it better than I ever could.

It's one thing to miss someone, to feel a void when they're gone. It's another to do something with their legacy, to honor them through your actions. Steve devoted his professional life to giving us (you, me and a billion other people) the most powerful device ever available to an ordinary person.

Everything in our world is different because of the device you're reading this on. 

What are we going to do with it? 

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Sorry for being one of the people to blow up your phone while you were out on a date with your awesome wife. (I normally don't use the expression "blow up" when it comes to phones, but this seemed like an appropriate time if there ever was one.) :) You were the first person I thought of when I opened up my USA Today app and saw the story.

And I'm so glad you're a Mac convert now. I appreciate the way you better explain why Macs are "simple" and "easy" to use. When I used only PCs, I understood a decent amount about them, like how to maintain it and such, but I appreciate not having to worry about those things with my Macbook. I still use a PC at work, and there are things I like about it, but for my personal computer, I think I'll always choose Mac. My Macbook is still going pretty strong after 3+ years, so who knows when I'll need to replace it. :)

Oh, and this is unrelated to this post, but so I don't have to blow up all your posts with comments (haha) - thanks for the recommendation of the MobileRSS app. I was a little skeptical about it because I don't like Google Reader, but I appreciate being able to read blogs when I'm away from a computer. This might make me sound like an idiot, but I find Google Reader overwhelming and plain, so I prefer to use Blogger to click through each blog update individually (it's usually only about ten in the mornings and a few throughout the day), and I like seeing each blog post with its intended formatting. I haven't checked out the Reeder app like another commenter recommended, but I might give that a whirl too, just to see if I like that as well.