Thursday, October 06, 2011
The Day The Music Died: RIP Steve Jobs
I almost hesitated to prepare a dispatch on Steve Jobs, but how could I not write a tribute to the man who changed the world?
Last night, I called my brother -- the mac guru who now lives in Hawaii -- seriously, he really is a total geek and has worked professionally in Apple IT -- to confirm the rumors I had seen on Twitter. Then I spoke all night with my blogger friend @skinnyjeans, who lives in Phoenix, on what this meant for all of us. Two women who usually talk about girly things, suddenly focused on Silicon Valley and the impact of technology.
Are you getting the gist of this? Mobile and global communication in just a matter of minutes.
I find it ironic that Jobs' death was announced just hours after the new iPhone 5 release. It's as if he was holding on for dear life, took his last breath and then said "look, I did it" before moving on.
Or maybe he died earlier. Maybe he passed on the same day as the much anticipated tech announcement and the spin engine of PR chose to delay the obituary.
Who knows? It doesn't matter.
Steve Jobs was a game changer, a paradigm shifter, a man for all ages -- can I come up with more corny praises? Whatever. He shall not soon be replaced.
Where do we go from here? I think it's no coincidence this whole "Mayan calendar" event horizon is supposed to happen next year. That isn't about the end of the world, but about transformation. This is about humanity being prehensile like monkeys using touch screens. This is about people like me reaching out to the world through a simple blog. This is a very exciting time to be alive and Steve Jobs was influential in that.
Seriously, young people out there ... what are you doing in tech and science to make this world a better place?
Jobs' death and battle with cancer was sad, but his life and accomplishments should be celebrated. We should ponder on how we can use technology to improve life for others who are suffering. We should take this momentum and go full speed ahead for good.
No other brand in the world could get people so emotionally passionate about technology. Good lord, I may be consciously practicing celibacy from a yoga and Buddhist point of view, but I am surgically attached to my iPhone. Thanks to this simple little device, I never feel lonely. (There's irony in that as well, but I'm chuckling. Technology is spiritual.)
I remember listening to Guy Kawasaki -- one of Apple's premiere evangelists -- when he came to do a talk in Coconut Grove for Network Solutions. He said something that always stuck with me. Apple came out with its first computer trusting that it would have a future, even though it wasn't perfect. The moral of the story was this: "Why wait? If you have a good idea, push it through and make it happen." Can you imagine if Apple had hesitated?
Perfectionism is not smart. It leads to stagnation. Being bold, imperfect and visionary is the way to go. Trusting in the process is key. There is no end to a good idea; there is evolution.
I shudder to think of the amazing technology we'll have in the future.
Oh and by the way, just look around you. Mother nature is a pretty good example of being bold, brilliant, visionary and yet imperfect. Models abound.
I remember writing my term papers at the University of Miami on some old macs, the little rectangle boxes. I almost wish I had one of those quaint antiques today, while I type this on my big-ass G5 desktop. Even fictional character Carrie Bradshaw penned her column Sex and the City on an old Powerbook G3 laptop, the repair of which was the subject of entire episode written to get her to trust her then beau Aidan Shaw.
Anyway, every day I have to remind my 80 year old parents how to do certain apple + keyboard functions on email when they're forwarding jokes on their iMac. I think Steve Jobs would be proud of that. Octogenarians using an iMac ... mission accomplished.
God bless Steve Jobs. Thank you.