We’ve all heard the news by now: Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO of Apple. Though he will still be involved with the company since he’ll serve as Chairman of the Board, it’s fair to say that his day-to-day involvement with the company is at an end.
Back in the late 80s (gulp), I arrived at my first day on the job at an advertising agency and they sat me down in front of a Mac. I remember one of the first things I did that day was to take a tutorial designed to show me how to use the mouse. A mouse? What the heck was that thing and how did it work? I soon learned.
Ever since that day I have been a certified Apple geek. For the most part it was a lonely little world, consisting of me and my ad buddies against the world. When I first joined AAR over 10 years ago, I was the only one on a Mac and it caused problems. But I was unconcerned. I knew the Mac was better and everybody else would eventually come around.
Then along came the iPod and all that changed. The iPod not only revolutionized the way we listen to music, but it brought new people into the Mac fold. Suddenly, we were no longer an exclusive little group of dedicated diehards.
Then came the iPhone. And the iPad. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Steve Jobs has had a direct impact on my life and the lives of millions of others around the world. Thanks to Jobs’ passion for designing a computer that worked so intuitively and so well, I am almost a helpless child on the few occasions when I’ve had to sit down in front of a PC. He’s there when I download a song. Or read a newspaper from London on my iPad. Thanks to Jobs, my life is better.
There is another way Steve Jobs is unique: He’s cool. Utterly and completely. Steve Jobs was no Bill Gates, God forbid. In fact, Gates was someone I and other Apple minions laughed at. I do that less now that he’s humanized by his wife and is now so active in charity work, but it’s still there. Remember those Mac/PC commercials featuring Justin Long and John Hodgeman?
Frankly, I had a bit of a tough time with the whole iBookstore pricing stuff. I’m not used to seeing Steve as the bad guy, and it was a bit tough taking a side that wasn’t Apple’s.
I am saddened today by the loss of Steve Jobs at the helm of Apple because now I think there will be fewer theatrical flourishes at product launches – and less excitement, as well. I have confidence, however, that Apple will continue to innovate.
With regards to those theatrical flourishes, I found the video above today of the 1984 Macintosh launch. He is a rock star, no doubt about it.
I know that many of you (most of you?) don’t share my Apple fandom, but I hope you will join me in wishing Steve Jobs the best of health. Thanks, Steve. You are still the coolest.