Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs

I'm saddened by Steve Jobs' death. Apple products are a huge part of my personal and professional life. Maybe it seems silly because it's technology, a luxury, but when I think about all of the parts of my life - and the lives of millions of others - that are regularly influenced or affected by Apple products, I am amazed by Steve Jobs' positive impact on the world.

I have a (PRODUCT) RED iPod Nano, the proceeds of which went to The Global Fund. It served me well for years before I passed it on to B, who uses it daily. It helps him learn how to play songs on the piano and comforts him when he's "in a mood" (usually storming off angrily to his room when he gets in trouble). Sometimes when he can't sleep at night he listens to it for hours and I pretend to not know.

I have an iPod shuffle that I use exclusively for working out. It is seriously what stood between me actually going for that run and making excuses as to why I couldn't. The only music it gets to play is Gaga, Britney, Daft Punk and Yelle, but it is a very important part of my world.

I found out about his passing like many of you probably did, on my iPhone. Is there is a more game-changing invention of the last decade? That fact that we all know how to type on a screen with our thumbs, swipe to navigate and don't think talking into our camera is weird after only four years is proof of its impeccable design. In addition to being my phone and texting device, it's my radio, GPS, news, yellow pages, dictionary, map, photo album, gaming device and alarm clock. I check my bank accounts, look up movie times, check the weather, take notes, shop, make videos... the list goes on and on, but I don't need to tell you because most of you do it too. Maybe it's made us more dependent on technology, but (in my case, at least) it's also freed up a lot of time for us to do more important things. On my drive to Austin last weekend I used it to listen to Greek lessons and learned three new phrases, then I used it to find a short cut to my friend's house when I got in town.

My MacBook is ooooold. It's not a Pro, just a regular old white MacBook that is now a little dirty and relatively outdated. Yet I still use it every single day (I'm typing on it right now. It says hi.) for all of my work. It helped me write my thesis and countless other papers, I wrote for the Dallas Observer on it, I screened movies and wrote press releases for AFI Dallas other film festivals on it, and before that I had a little 12" PowerBook that got me through my undergrad. I love this thing and when it gives out on me I will buy another Mac because they are fun, easy to use, dependable machines. It's clear in their function and design that they were created by someone with great passion for his product.

Taso loves Apple and follows their every move more closely than anyone I know. If you have a question, he's your guy. Not just in an Apple Store employee kind of way (which he's not, but could probably out-Apple anyone at the Genius Bar), but as a true, devoted academic (which he is, down to his core, but that's another topic all together). He reads the blogs and books, follows trends, knows all the ins and outs there are to know about the company and, needless to say, is a big admirer Steve Jobs. In some ways (probably more than I know), that has influenced who he is and his beliefs. He doesn't see anyone's dream as being too big, and I love that about him.

I didn't expect to write very much about this, but reflecting on the ways in which this one company is integrated into my daily life really got me thinking. It's inspiring to know that one person with a single vision can make an impact like this. It encourages me to not just accept defeat and give up on the things I believe in in my own life and career. Like Mr. Jobs said:

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