I remember my first Apple computer. Back in 2001, in 7th grade at Short Pump Middle School, we were first issued iBooks. The predecessors to today’s MacBooks, they took some getting used to, having been brought up on a Compaq PC running Windows 95.
But something was decidedly cool about this new device. The school system purchased iBooks for every middle and high school student in the county and allowed us to not only use them in the classroom, but take them home as well.
It was this first Apple computer that not only made me an Apple fan for life, but defined my interests and path thus far in life. The things that seemed so unachievable and out complicated on a PC were suddenly a breeze on a Mac.
This barebones version of the iBook sparked my interest in all things digital and fostered my early love (and self teaching of) web development, video production and graphic design. It was on this little white iBook that I realized what I wanted to do with my life at the ripe old age of 12.
On Tuesday, we lost the man behind the magic, arguably the greatest icon of our time and one of the greatest innovators in history, Steve Jobs.
Steve not only revolutionized the personal computing, mobile phone and music industries. He changed the world as we know it because he was that square peg in a round hole bold (and perhaps crazy) enough to question the status quo and “Think Different.”
“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 important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs
It’s encouraging to me as a small business owner, when I get discouraged, to remember Steve’s iconic leadership of Apple. Brought back to the company when it was on the brink of bankruptcy, Steve had transformed Apple into the most valuable company in the world just weeks before his passing. Just how valuable? Apple reportedly has more cash on hand than the entire United States government.
Apple will continue to grow and thrive under Tim Cook’s leadership, but there will never be another Steve Jobs.
Thank you for everything, Steve. It sounds incredible to say, but I don’t think anyone has had as profound an impact on my life and shaped me more than you, besides my parents and my faith in God.
Thank you for continually raising the bar on what to expect from consumer electronics. For telling us what we wanted before we even knew we wanted it (iPad, anyone?). And lastly, for helping me figure out who I am, discover my God-given talents, and realize my purpose in life. For that, I am eternally grateful. Rest in peace, Steve.