When I heard of Steve's passing late last night, I was not terribly surprised at the news. I was, however, very surprised by how sad I felt about it. When a friend shared this photo capture from the Apple web site, I clicked through to their homepage and tears sprang to my eyes.
What an amazing impact this man has had on my life. While most people are going to be talking today about how he changed the world, I'm wondering how many out there can be honest enough with themselves to understand how he has changed them personally. Steve Jobs and his Apple history may be somewhat controversial, but the beauty, simplicity, and amazing usefulness of his products cannot be argued.
I'm typing this up on my iMac. The same iMac that Handyman Tim gave to me as a present when I had the Peanut. The gift that meant a million times more to me than any piece of jewelry every could. It is on this computer that I have learned how to improve my photography to the point of being able to sell stock, challenged my writinging skills to go from simple emails to a full blog, discovered the instructions for making countless recipes and crafts, and most importantly store and edit and share the images and memories from my family's lives.
Could I have done all of that on a PC? Honestly, no. Not like I have, not even close. Working on a Mac for so many years (I've owned them exclusively since college) gave me the courage to try new things. Their software is so brilliantly simple. Picking up a new skill took one session of poking the buttons. Edit a photo, turn it into a slideshow, edit some video, add some music, create a postcard or an invitation, lay out a scrapbook page, a little project here, a little project there and my confidence was built. "Well that was easy, what's next?!" Without that growth of confidence, I honestly do not think I'd be as courageously trying new things as I am today.
From little projects to much bigger ones, I've done it all on my Macs. But that's Apple. What about Steve the man himself? That is the part that stings too much to think about. My whole family adored him. We've watched his keynote addresses online and followed all his announcements and introductions. His excitement and passion was absolutely contagious. I still remember vividly the day my dad sent me a copy of Steve's famous commencement speech. If you haven't read it (or watched the video) you won't regret the time spent reading it here.
Every Apple success felt like watching the underdog win. We cheered Steve on and celebrated every victory. We are smug and cocky Apple fanatics. Our products are cooler than yours and it is all because of Steve. And I promise that at least this family will not soon forget it.
Thank you for thinking different, Steve. It truly has made a world of difference.