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A bit of a crush? Well, yes. His work is poetic, his products world-shaking, and his style is direct. His taste is superb and his products? They changed the world. Steve Jobs resigned from Apple Inc. yesterday and I am bereft. I feel as though I lost a big brother, someone who taught me so much and opened my world to an infinite number of possibilities. It’s a long story in a short time, but once I switched from PC to Apple, I realized how much I could accomplish.
Jobs was more than just a CEO. He was more than just some dude in a suit who ran a company. I think of what the company I work for would be like if Jobs was CEO and I swoon. I’ve read a lot about the man. He was a taskmaster and didn’t put up with a lot. A snob, a bit of a bastard to people, Jobs was single-minded and didn’t care how you did it, as long as the product came out the way he envisioned it. He wasn’t an engineering genius, and he really didn’t know all of the intricacies of his products. He had the genius to hire the people who were. He just had the imagination to say, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could make a computer that fit in your pocket that made phone calls, took photos, videos and played music?” Who the hell would think something like that was even possible?
A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of sitting in on a college speech and communications class. The professor is a friend of mine and he wanted me to help him grade the four-minute presentations and accompanying papers. I had my iPad with me. One of the students did a piece about creativity and what it was. He went on about Botticelli or someone. After he was done, I held up my iPad.
I said, “You mentioned art and how art was being creative. Well, what is art? What is creativity? Is this object art? Who in their right mind came up with this idea?”
My point was that art and creativity were not just limited to the canvas and the clay. Jobs is as much an artist as Picasso and Degas. But Jobs took it a step further. You can’t take a Picasso and create art from it. A Picasso work is art. It is the end result of someone’s creativity.
But with a Jobs piece, you can create art. He hands you a device and says, “Now, go change the world. Make it better.”
I love that. I love the fact that he made this huge dent in the world. He changed things. He made the world better. Easier. He made my world more creative and in turn, I like to think that I have made things better for people. He was crazy enough to think he could change the world. And he did. He asked people to “Think Different.” And they did.
I would like to think that one day, my voice, my written work, and my ideas might make the world a better place for people, for parrots and for living things in general. Obviously this is not going to happen in the huge way Steve Jobs changed things, but I can try. After all, Jobs and Wozniak started their company in a garage. Steve Jobs inspired me and countless others to make things better. And then he handed us tools to try to do just that. Now that changed the world.
I’ll miss him.