Steve Jobs holds the original iPhone at Macworld 2007
Steve Jobs was one of the greatest inventors and visionaries to ever grace this planet. His work and his passion are in the hands of hundreds of millions of people and the effects of such innovation enter every corner of our lives.
With the sad news of Steve Jobs’ passing there is naturally an outpouring of grief from colleagues, friends, admirers and those who just see what change Jobs made to their lives and thank him for that. The most fitting tribute to this amazing man is of course to continue to admirer his work and for all of us who contribute to the success of Apple to continue working. Whilst Jobs was clearly not a fan of the media, especially when it intruded his own life, it has been immeasurable in the success of Apple.
I don’t remember the first time I encountered Steve Jobs talking, presumably at some point in the late 1990s or early 2000s but I do remember the first time I sat in the same room as him. Granted there were 6000 other people in the room and I was a hundred odd rows back but the famous feeling, jokingly referred to as the “reality distortion field” was in full flow.
It was 2007 though, when I truly became awe-inspired by Steve Jobs and for the first time saw his passion. This time I wasn’t far from the stage, I’d had little sleep and had spent a lot of time on the cold streets of San Francisco but that January morning was a morning I still remember vividly now and will no doubt do so for a long time to come.
Macworld 2007 was, as most of you will know, the stage for the unveiling of the original iPhone. For those that were there the moment Jobs began discussing the iPhone was incredible. The passion ran through the room, as the icon spun on the screen as Jobs said, “a phone, an iPod, an internet communication device” and again, “a phone, an iPod, an internet communication device”. The anticipation, the excitement and the excellence of Jobs’ presence made the room electric, it was something I’d never felt before.
Steve Jobs after the Macworld 2007 keynote
It wasn’t clear to me at the time just how much this meant to Steve.
Following the keynote it is customary for members of the media to work their way down to the front and Steve would come back out and stand on stage, he often milled around the crowd chatting to CEOs of partner companies, joking and smiling.
That day in 2007 was different though, I had the good fortune of being one of the first to the front and witnessed the first person he spoke to following the unveiling, his wife, Laurene. He hugged her and then moved onto to shake some hands and disappeared back stage.
When Jobs returned, drink in one hand, iPhone in the other he made his way on stage held up the iPhone and smiled. Not the smile I’d seen from him before but a truly happy, elated smile.
I could see that day that Steve cared about his work, creating the best products possible was what he wanted from everything Apple did and on that day years of work was finally in the public eye and this is what truly made him happy.
The next time I saw such happiness from Steve was at the iPad launch in 2010 and again earlier this year at the unveiling of the second iPad. Clearly against all odds Jobs wanted to be there, he wanted to show his product to the world and fittingly said upon arriving on stage “I didn’t want to miss today.”
Steve Jobs has changed many lives in many ways, computers infiltrate every day of our lives and for that we can thank Steve, many can thank Steve for saving their lives or improving it with music and communication.
I can thank Steve for the number of incredible memories he has given me. Without Apple and Steve’s vision many of the amazing friends I’ve made going to Apple events and store openings and media gatherings around the world wouldn’t be in my life, without Steve I wouldn’t be able to wake up every day and write about a company and products that I love, after all Steve said it himself, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
I’ll never forget you Steve.