October 6, 2011

Fanboy, Part II

Yesterday I gushed about Apple and last night Steve Jobs died. I'm irrationally sad about that.

Lots of folks have walked this world leaving little drops of genius all over the place, the world only finding out how brilliant they were after they were gone. But there are some - a very rare few - who are recognized for being geniuses in their own time. Jobs was one of those people.

My first computer was an Apple II+. It had two disk drives - the big five inch mothers - a green and black monitor and a dot matrix printer with the holes on each side that you had to rip off and throw away or make cool snake-looking things out of. I played uncountable games of Zork and Cuthroat Island and Lode Runner. It was amazing at the time because it was so cutting edge. It's amazing now because of how far we've come.

Can you imagine a greater time than this? I owned that Apple II+ thirty years ago. And since then technology has advanced exponentially. We've gone from zero to three hundred in a second and a half. Those advancements have had ripple effects on the way we live, the way we do business...the way we do most things. Most of the consequences are good but admittedly some of them aren't. Still, we live in an amazing age. Jobs was one of many smart people who got us here.

So maybe that sadness isn't all that irrational after all.

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.

Posted by Chris at October 6, 2011 7:51 AM

I'm not a huge Apple fan (not a detractor either though), but I too was deeply saddened when I heard Steve Jobs had died. I confess that I nearly cried when I heard the news. I don't believe in any sort of afterlife, but if I did, I'd say the pantheon has a new god today.

Posted by: Elizabeth at October 6, 2011 8:02 AM

I too was irrationally sad...I didn't know the man personally and I feel for his family, friends and co-workers. They feel it on a personal level. I guess I'm mourning the loss of a genius and not knowing what more he could have done. He was so young and so talented. One can only imagine the places he would have taken us over the next 30 years.
RIP Steve.

Posted by: Lisa at October 6, 2011 8:15 AM

I don't get it. Honestly. I don't think people would be this crushed if one of the Google boys died. Nor if Gates kicked it, and think of how much more he did for this world already with his foundation.

I'm sorry for family and friends, but I'm seeing comparisons to Gandhi. Apple is way more than Jobs. I know a lot of the people who work there, and they're also visionaries and brilliant. I won't speak ill of the dead, but I'm sad that marketing can turn a man into a myth.

How about we just cure pancreatic cancer?

Posted by: alektra at October 6, 2011 8:38 AM

I'm with you. We had a IIe when I was a teen, and I learned about his death while surfing the web on my iPhone. Our four family members have 12 Apple products between us (Today. #s 13 & 14 are already planned for Christmas). I'm in awe of his genius and the genius he inspired every time I see one.

Posted by: at October 6, 2011 8:50 AM

Even here in India, his loss has been noticed and felt - my students are as sad as I am.

Steve (and his company) has had a part of my life since college - from computers, to Pixar, to my phone that I can't seem to live without.

While I agree, that cancer and it's awful kin needs to be eradicated - I also think that we've lost one of the greatest thinkers of our generation. He's definitely changed how the world works, does business, and communicates. (And yes, I know, it's not JUST him, but his people too...) But it all started somewhere, and that point was Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in a garage in California.

Thanks for your last comment Chris - I've 'borrowed' it - because it truly touched my heart.

SadMac today :(

Posted by: Kellie at October 6, 2011 9:41 AM

I too am irrationally sad. It's a bit surreal to feel this sadness for a person I've never met but have held his work in my hands for more years than not. The sadness for me, I think, comes from the loss of a true visionary, a genius, a difference maker of my time. I can't say that it's ever happened before. I've used many PC's in my day and I've never mourned the loss of their maker but today as I sit with my iPhone in my hand it's with a little more reverence that I did the day before.

Posted by: Jen at October 6, 2011 11:01 AM

agreed. and always sad to have a good-hearted hard-working genius with a family die young instead of old and grey and done. :(

"stay hungry! stay foolish!"

Posted by: kati at October 6, 2011 12:56 PM

I'm irrationally sad, too. I've actually shed many tears (I'm an emotional chick, what can I say?) I've never owned a computer that wasn't an Apple creation, starting with my family's Apple II (no plus for us) with a black and blue/grey screen. I thought the black/green was EDGY! We used Apples at school. We used them to format the school paper in high school. I had a Mac at home, I got a new one when I graduated high school and a laptop when I graduated college. I had an iMac, and iBook, a Powerbook, and now I have a MacBook Pro. I had the first iPod, bought at the Palo Alto Apple store after my best friend showed me hers and I had to have that $500 gadget. We have two Apple TVs, a Mac Mini, about ten iPods of varying age, an Apple router, and we're about to buy our second iPhone.

I am amazed that there is a computer in my pocket that is more powerful than even the laptop I got as a college grad in 1996. I love the elegance and simplicity of Apple products. I sit blissfully at my desk while co-workers cry out in frustration when a virus hits.

Steve will be missed. I hope Tim Cook can carry the weight of his mantle.

Posted by: Brooke at October 6, 2011 12:57 PM