The entire world is talking about Steve Jobs this morning.Â And rightfully so. Last night I sat in front of my Twitter stream - from the first tweet breaking the news to an unreasonably late hour - watching people from all corners of the world come together to celebrate an innovator who changed human communication forever.
Confession: until just over a year ago, I wasn't an "Apple person." After another run-in with a PC "blue screen of death," I finally decided it was time to jump ship and shell out the cash for a MacBook. When I brought my MacBook home in July of 2010, I spent the first 24 hours seriously considering returning it to the store because it didn't have a delete key. Sure, it had a <em>delete </em>key, but the MacBook delete key functioned like a PC backspace key. How could I live without a delete key and a backspace key? Furthermore, where was the left click button?! A few days (and keyboard shortcuts) later, and I was in love. Turns out... I <strong>am</strong> an Apple person.
Flash forward a year. The tidbits and nuggets of my life are captured, stored and preserved in the form of photos, documents and videos in two places: my MacBook and my iPhone. My MacBook and my iPhone aren't my life, but they <em>are</em> tools that help me live better, think better, work better and communicate better.
If I could share one story with Steve Jobs, this would be it.
24 years ago, a 5-year-old version of me sat at Epcot Center, listening intently as the narrator's voice described a vision of the millennium ahead. He explained that one day we would find ourselves eating from flavored tubes of food like astronauts, bidding farewell to vehicles and skateboards in exchange for flying cars and hoverboards. From all the visions of the future I caught a glimpse of that afternoon, the one that has always stuck with me was the promise that one day I would hold a phone and be able see the person I was speaking to on the other end of the line.
I remember filing that promise away in my head. I remember making a conscious mental note, that if that day ever came, it must really be true that anything is possible.
Last month I connected to Facetime for the first time. On the other end of the line? My father. 800 miles away.
In the flurry of tweets last night, someone said it simply and eloquently (two qualities I think we can all agree Steve Jobs would appreciate): <strong>He was our Edison. </strong>
As for his legacy, I don't think I could sum it up any better that this passage from the Brains on Fire Book (page 14):
<em>If your company were (heaven forbid) to be hit by a bus tomorrow, would you brand live on without you? In other words, is your customer's brand loyalty so strong that it's self-sustaining? Are you the main drive of what your brand stands for? Is it in the ads that the marketing department prints in the monthly pubs? Or does it live in the hearts and minds of your employees and customers? </em>
<em>Brands that truly matter can, without a doubt, answer this question in a heartbeat. The culture of fans is so loyal that the brand they love so much will live on, even if it's not there to feed them anymore. And if something happened to you (or your company) there would be an outcry from your fans. Calls would be made. E-mails would circulate. You would be mourned. But, in your absence, those who love you would pull together and somehow continue the word you'd begun.</em>
<strong>We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life.</strong> | Steve Jobs