Why I Will Miss Steve Jobs – A Humble Tribute to the Man Who Changed My World

Another tribute from a QMac member, Venkatesh Sridhar.

It isn’t often that you get woken up very early in the morning with the news that one of your life’s role models passed away and trust me for a lack of better word – it sucks!

To be brutally honest, it wasn’t that surprising, I mean there was the whole resignation thing followed by a picture of a very very sick Steve.

But, one thing it wasn’t or still isn’t is easy to accept it. Steve himself said in his famous Stanford commencement speech that “Death is a funny thing, no one wants to die not even those who want to go to heaven.” And here we all were wishing that he doesn’t go to heaven

And throughout the day, people poured out their feelings – his best friend & Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak couldn’t hold back tears as he bid farewell to his friend. There were people who haven’t ever met him mourning and it made me wonder why do we miss/will miss him so much. You all know he invented the Mac, iPod, iPhone and iPad. He changed the computer, music, telecom, software & gaming industry – rarely does one impact that much, but here are the following things that are commonplace today because of this one man and I tried to make a list of all that I can remember that Steve helped do, even though they weren’t his inventions.

1. Fonts – Because Steve landed himself in a calligraphy class at Reed College, he fell in love with fonts and he was instrumental in the Mac having fonts, since Windows basically copied Mac, we wouldn’t have had fonts otherwise. How huge was this attention to detail?

2. CD-ROM – Not many people know that Apple was the first to discard floppy drives and ship only CD-ROMs before this no computer ever shipped CD-ROM only.

3. FireWire & USB – Apple once again was the first to make it standard, can you imagine a world today without FireWire/USB drives, even cars have one these days. Apple was the first to have it on its computers.

4. WiFi – Yes, the same WiFi that you might very well possibly be using right now to read this very note wasn’t considered a standard till Apple made it as a standard on all of its computers. And it continues to innovate by still being the first to support WiFi N Standard. Imagine a world where WiFi isn’t as ubiquitous as it is today

5. Multi-touch – the MacBook, MacBook Pros, MacBook Airs, iPhone and iPad wouldn’t be the same without multi-touch would it? Apple didn’t invent it but they invented the right way to use it and once again others followed where Steve led. How many multi-touch mainstream phones before iPhone -zilch.

6. App Store – how many of us thought that it was possible for a phone to run so many applications, even though the BlackBerry, the Palm, etc had applications available, no one tied it into one single place to make it easier for people to work on the phone.

7. Aluminium notebooks – Not many people realize that there weren’t a lot of metal based notebooks around when Apple first introduced the titanium PowerBook. And we still don’t have that many and that makes Apple stand out and to do this, Apple actually spent money in learning how it is done and are today considered leaders in the industry.

8. The Zen of Presentation – If anyone wants a crash course in presenting great products, head over to youtube and see the Stevenotes and you will definitely learn how to present.

9. Awesome Ads – How can anyone forget the 1984 ad, the Think Different ad which actually brought Apple back from the dead so to speak, the ‘Hi I’m a PC. Hi I’m a Mac.” I believe set a standard for creative ads worldwide.

10. Design Trendsetter – We all know that the Apple products look great from the outside but I am sure those who are lucky enough to see the insides of a Mac/iPod/iPhone/iPad will see the beauty and the attention to detail even in the internals and now even the new proposed Apple campus at Cupertino shaped like a spaceship. Remember Apple is called the Mothership by many and it was a acknowledgement towards that – maybe. Also, don’t forget the famous Apple glass shadow logos, people overdid long after Apple stopped it. And even the packaging of Apple products are infinitely better than its competitors by far (except those who shamelessly copy it *cough* samsung *cough*). Carry in an Mac for repair and you would appreciate the fact that you have a box that has a handle so thoughtfully attached to it.

11. Insanely Great Quotes – ‘We are here to make a dent in the universe, else why even be here.”; “Life is too short for you to live someone else’s life.”; “Computers are like the bicycles of our minds” and many more.

12. Making Tech Cool – As a self confessed technophile, no one person in this world made tech cool more than this one man.

13. Talent Management – Steve had his core team work for him right throughout from his return till yesterday. That tells you how good he was at retaining talent.

14. Taught us all how to celebrate even small victories over rivals – When IBM announced that it will enter the Personal Computer industry, Apple ran an ad saying welcome IBM. Michael Dell when asked what his advise to Steve Jobs would be on his return to Apple in 1997 answered “I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.” When Apple crossed Dell’s market capitalization in 2006, Steve sent an email to all Apple employees – “Team, it turned out that Michael Dell wasn’t perfect at predicting the future. Based on today’s stock market close, Apple is worth more than Dell. Stocks go up and down, and things may be different tomorrow, but I thought it was worth a moment of reflection today. Steve.” And the battles with Microsoft, especially those swipes at Vista’s failure are legendary.

15. Creating integrated products that we didn’t know we needed till he told us we did – Would the iPod be as successful as it is today without iTunes – I highly doubt it. Would the iPad be as awesome without the App Store – I highly doubt it. Would the Mac be such an awesome device without Mac OS X – I totally doubt it. Steve knew how products came together in a way, when we don’t even know what the product should be. This is Steve’s greatest quality by far.

A lot of people said his legacy was that he changed the world by inventing the Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad etc but in my humble opinion his true legacy was that he made billions of people who haven’t ever even had the fortune of meeting him mourn his death with such sincerity & passion, his true legacy is him saying –

“iTouched all of you”.

Steve – Thank you for everything and more….

Love,

Venky

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