My first computer was a Mac. I grew up on Macs, learned to use the Internet on a Mac, learned to record music on a Mac, I was one of the first iPod customers, etc. etc. Apple revolutionised the way we listened to music, and they revolutionised the way we make music. I’m not an Apple employee, and I’m not paid to talk about their products, but I’ll be the first to recognise that many of the tools I use throughout the day have an Apple logo on them. Apple didn’t just make objects you consumed, they made tools you could create with, and they had a passion to try to make them the best tools ever, and to keep making them better year after year. I may not always be an Apple customer, some new company may spring up tomorrow and make new tools that I prefer, but I’ll always remember that Apple made tools that I used to get me where I am today.
It’s indicative that to pay any sort of tribute to Steve Jobs, you have to mention Apple. I even had to start this tribute with my relation to Apple and its products, after all, we’ve all had more interaction with the products his company created rather than the man himself. When Steve Jobs returned to Apple, I knew he was going to do something great. I could see it in his eyes, he could barely contain his enthusiasm and passion and faith in himself and his vision for changing the world. And then he did it, you can read about his success anywhere online, Apple has consistently been in the news since his return to the company.
He had great style, taste in technology, and was relentless (and notorious) for pushing his employees to create and improve the products he envisioned. I don’t care how many units of the iPod or iPhone Apple has sold, but I have massive respect for anyone who was so passionate about developing great tools to connect people and create art. He made products so that everyone could be a photographer, movie maker, recording artist, etc., and the same tools allowed everyone else to enjoy all of those things wherever they were. He was a visionary, a pioneer, and he followed his heart relentlessly to “put a dent in the Universe” as he once said he wanted to do, and reminded us that we should all try to do.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” — Steve Jobs
It might sound cliche (which is also indicative of his influence), but Steve Jobs was a pioneer, and a visionary, and humanity will definitely miss his passion. Apple shareholders might hope you go buy an Apple product to express your loss and empathy for a public figure that we’ve all come to respect, but I think it would be more fitting for us to adopt a bit of his relentless passion in how we live our lives and how we can shape the world.
R.I.P. Steve Jobs.