I woke up this morning at 5:30am to the tragic news that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, has died, age 56. As an avid Apple fan for the last 15 years I knew the day wasn't far away, especially since his recent resignation as CEO, but what I felt this morning was not expected. I felt truly saddened and upset at the loss of someone I didn't know, never met and someone who was just the CEO of a big company.
Why is this? Why should I care? Why did it have this effect on me? You can read a thousand blogs describing Jobs as a visionary, a leader and one of the greatest inventors of the last century. All of these are true, but the way Steve changed the face of technology when he and Steve Wozniak started Apple in 1976 and went on to launch the first personal computer, the Macintosh in 1981 has had a profound effect on my life and what I do for a living.
As a designer it is hard to imagine a life without Apple. Since I was a student starting out in design I have been surrounded by Apple. The fact that I wake up as a designer, come into work and use a mouse and a keyboard all day is largely down to Steve's vision for a better future. This vision has crept into so many areas of my life – how I phone my wife, listen to music, surf the net in the evening. Apart from actual conversations, in person, with real people pretty much all my communication and sourcing of information happens on a device baring that Apple logo.
It's true to say that Apple wasn't the first company to do many things – The MP3 player, the smartphone, the tablet, the music store. But it certainly is the one company which has done these things better and made them appeal to the mass market. You could say that this is down to Apple's huge marketing machine and a faithful following unlike any other company, but really it's down to Steve, and his vision to 'Think Different' and make stuff that 'Just Works'.
The run up to any Steve Jobs keynote at an Apple product announcement was always heavily anticipated and his enthusiasm and absolute, unrelenting passion for making life that little bit better through technology was obvious. Some people in business do it for the money. Sure Steve was a multi-billionaire, but you just always got the feeling that as long as he had enough cash for his trademark black jumper, blue jeans and white trainers, he'd do what he did for nothing. For the love of it.
I think this video, narrated by Steve pretty much sums him up -
I'm sure Apple will continue innovating and creating amazing new products which will make my life 'that little bit better', but I'm not sure it'll ever be quite the same without him.
Steve Jobs – absolutely, definitely, undeniably NOT JUST A CEO – we salute you.
We wanted to do our own little tribute to Steve, which can only really come in one form which we think he'd appreciate – Doodles.
Stay hungry, stay foolish.