There is no greater testament to the impact Steve Jobs had on our lives. I was sitting with a bunch of colleagues at our favorite hangout when one of us simply said “Steve Jobs died!”. All of us immediately dug into our pockets and reached for our phones to go online and verify the news. Most of us were holding iPhones. And our tweetstream and news feeds was flooded with worldwide reaction to the loss of a giant, delivered via services that wouldn’t exist if he hadn’t created the ecosystem for them to be born in. As soon as we saw that it was true, the mood at the table changed dramatically. We couldn’t do anything except sit in stunned silence. And the emotion we felt was unparalleled at the loss of someone we have no personal connection to.
Except that we do. A deeply personal one. Steve Jobs touched our lives in ways that are hard to quantify. He was King Midas – the entrepreneur and visionary that all of us techies at the table count among our greatest inspirations. A legend. The gold standard for turning vision into uncompromised reality. He was Walt Disney – the driving force behind the world of magic at Pixar. He believed in it and pushed it through when almost everyone else would have bailed on it. His DNA is very much alive in the creative vision that rules there. He was the Pied Piper – changing the way we live our daily lives in fundamental ways, almost dictating it to us. None of us can imagine not having our iPhones (or the smartphone that followed suit) to get through the day. And my son, who lives and breathes all things Pixar, is a bona fide member of the iGen (or should that be Gen-i), having grown up from day one playing, learning and enjoying our iPhone and iPad. He is a tech savvy 3 year old who has never touched a keyboard or a mouse. The world he will grow up in has been forever shaped by Steve.
As we slowly recovered and started to talk about him, discussion turned to the stories we had heard, and the impact his loss would have on Apple products, stock and roadmap. Such was his genius, that the fate of a company with the size, success, capital and talent of Apple is still so singularly tied to one man. I have no doubt that he built Apple to last, but today is a great loss for Apple, the Tech industry and the World. His clarity of thought, vision and drive will be missed.
Apple’s tribute on their home page is fitting: larger than life, simple, elegant, complete. There are no words…
Tags: Apple, Pixar, RIP Steve Jobs, Stand Up 2 Cancer, Steve Jobs, Thank You Steve