I heard the sad news an hour ago. Steve Jobs passed away. My reaction was immediate. Loss. Steve envisioned everything I love in our technology world. He was brilliant. He was fearless. He had the courage of his convictions. He took on the world and made no apologies.
Think about it for a minute. Apple competed with EVERYONE ! They competed with all the PC manufacturers back in the ‘80’s. They competed with the largest software company in the world, Microsoft. They competed with IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Dell . . EVERY hardware manufacturer, almost every software company.
APPLE did it their way, Steve’s way. He had a vision and he never let go of it. I loved (and bought) everything Apple ever built . . . well, except for the Newton. OK, no one’s perfect. Good idea and they got it right decades later with the IPAD.
I’ll never forget the 1984 ad introducing the Macintosh, (directed by Ridley Scott) that ran during the Super Bowl. You could have knocked me over with a feather at the conclusion of that ad. And it never ran again. Are you kidding me?!
Who had the moxie, the chutzpah, the pure audacity to take on IBM like that? One shot, but unforgettable. Brilliant.
And, years later, after building Apple Computer into a $2 billion company, . . . they fired him. Maybe one of the most successful marketing moves since New Coke. No, really. New Coke was fabulously successful. Not for the product, but for stimulating an unprecedented demand for Classic Coke. The net effect was to propel Coca Cola back into first place vs. Pepsi. Steve said his firing was one of the best things that could have happened to him. Off he went to start NeXT Computer, then in his spare time, spun off the Graphics Group from Lucasfilm, creating Pixar.
Pixar ! What Steve had done for the PC world, he now did for the world of animation. Toy Story, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo, Wall-E and many more. 26 Academy Awards, 7 Golden Globes, 3 Emmys. He later sold it to Disney for a lousy $7.4 billion, becoming the largest single stockholder at Disney. Astounding.
NeXT was, of course, acquired by Apple in 1997. Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor? Steve rejoined the company and served as CEO from 1997 until a few months ago.
Steve Jobs, thank you for my iPhone, my iPad, my Macintosh(s). Thanks for iTunes, iBooks. Thanks for defining ‘intuitive’ and building it into every Apple product. Thank you for your commencement speech at Stanford, 2005. If you haven’t had a chance to read the speech here is a link to it.
I sent this to everyone here at EasyAsk and to my 3 young adult children. I’d strongly recommend you set aside a few minutes of your time. It will touch your soul.
Most of all, thank you for being one hell of a role model as visionary, leader and CEO.
And thank YOU for taking the time to read this.
The world has lost a giant . . .