Steve Jobs was a genius.
No one else has a larger influence on the way we live today.
The more i think about his passing, the more genuinely sad I am. Steve Jobs passing is not just your everyday celebrity death. He’s not just an inventor or a businessman. He is weaved into our lifestyles. Every minute of every day I am benefiting from the mind of Steve Jobs.
He gave us the mouse, the idea of your computer screen being a “desktop” with “icons”, and the concept of being able to type in different “fonts”. Simple things but each truly revolutionary. Without Steve Jobs, we’d be sitting in front of MS-DOS screens watching a blinking green box at work and being glad to go home and get away from those stupid computers. Who would have thought everyday people would be able to those expensive and confusing things called computers in their homes? Or carry them in their pockets! Steve thought so.
Most businesses fullfill a need. Apple actually created needs we didn’t even know we had. In 1998 did you need to carry 5000 songs in your pocket? Did you think your phone was too “dumb”? Did you think “Man, it would be nice if I could carry a thin, touch-screen computer in my purse”. Hell no you didn’t. And that is why Steve is a genius and we are not. Do you know how gangsta it is to create needs for millions of people?
And don’t get me started on the GLORY that is the Apple brand. Ugh. I would actually have sex with the Apple brand. It just has that effect on me. As a businessperson, and especially as a marketer, Apple is only of 4 elite brands that you could only wish to be when you grow up. I would cry if I had the chance just to touch the hem of the garment anyone involved in Apple’s brand guidelines. I had the opportunity to work with Apple before, and I have never encountered any group more protective of their brand. And while it was frustrating to deal with their extraordinarily specific guidelines, I had to respect their gangsta. At the end of the day I realized I was talking to a Marketing empire the likes of which I was just not worthy to have input on. All I could really do was have a seat, take out a pen, and be blessed by their input.
Steve Jobs got people to line up around the block in anticipation of products they have never even seen, used or thought they needed. He was a rock star. He took geeky things and made them accessible and usable for the average Joe. The Apple brand represents American exceptionalism to overseas markets. It’s iconic. Their products are icons in our culture. They make things that people fall in love with. We buy a lot of stuff, but how many products do we love? People adore their iPods and iPads and iMacs and their iPhones. No other organization creates things that are so equally useful, pretty, and revolutionary while also being easy-to-use. Historically, most major step-changes in terms of technology required training for the masses to be able to adopt them . Steve Jobs excelled in ensuring his products were intuiutive right out of the box. “Where do I put my computer files? In a folder! How do I get rid of this file? Oh, I put it in my computer trash can! Just like in real life! Ha!”. Seems simple but didn’t nobody else think of that shit.
The big question is: How long can Apple last without Steve? Tim Cook has been at Apple for a while and Steve spent a lot of time training him and preparing to pass on his own legacy but this feels like the end of an era. We just lost our Leonardo DaVinci.
Steve Jobs dies with over 300 patents in his name, and a resume that defines modern lifestyle. He literally changed the world, and his legacy will be in the history books of our children. He shall be missed.