This is my elegy to Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple and the man behind nearly every technological achievement in the last decade. On October 5th, Jobs, who had also previously been chief executive of Pixar, passed away after a debilitating battle with cancer. Typing my thoughts out on my precious MacBook Pro, I could not think of a better way to thank this man for all that he has done for my generation.
I remember when I got my first iPod. I felt so cool, so hip. I was probably 13 years old when I received the brand-new, revolutionary device that would change the face of commercial music forever. No longer did I have to carry around clunky CD players, now I had a sleek little machine that held everything I could ever hope to have.
Of course, it has been quite awhile since those days of the dinosaur iPods. On the verge of the iPhone 4S release (which I’m crossing my fingers will become mine), there is a cultural religion devoted to the work of Jobs. People will shell out any extra money they can scrape together to get their hands on the next version of this product or that. Why? There is some sort of allure, some seductive quality to that shiny piece of aluminum metal. But I probably don’t need to explain that to you. If it’s Apple, you know it’s going to get quite a few people salivating.
Jobs did something spectacular, and genius in itself. He created a technology brand that became something not geeky at all, but cool, fashionable, and creative. What I admire most about Apple is the aesthetic. Clean lines, combining shiny and matte finishes, it was all a part of the whole image.
Upon hearing that Job had passed out of this material world, it seems selfish to mourn the creative genius that we lost, and all the possible projects that he had in store. I hope that others are inspired not only by his ingenuity, but also his courage in the face of death.
To hear some of Steve Job’s wise words, watch his Stanford Commencement address from 2005: