Thank You, Steve

October 6, 2011

I've been tinkering with an Apple computer for as long as I can remember - my father is Apple's biggest fan. Because of Apple, and my father's love of their products, I grew up surrounded by technology. We owned the boxy Apple with the green dot screen, the orange candy-colored iMac that brought Apple back from the brink, and that very first iPod that revolutionized the way we listen to music. Apple taught me that things can be both beautiful and smart. Loving technology and being nerdy, well that's okay too. 

Steve Jobs is the ultimate example of pushing yourself, daily, to change the way the world sees things. When people said "you can't do that," he did it any way. There was never an "impossible" in Steve's world. He simply challenged everyone to "think different."

My fascination with Steve Jobs hit its peak with the introduction of the first iPhone. I remember being glued to the live blogs to find out what this revolutionary device would look like, how it would work. This was Steve's gift. The anticipation, the giddiness, the child-like excitement over a product with a perfect marriage of form and function. A thought that, as a designer myself, I always try to remain true to. You can have both. Steve Jobs proved that functional can not only be beautiful, but it can be magical. We could all use a dose of that in our daily lives.

But mostly, Steve loved his life's work. You could tell it in the twinkle of his eye while on stage. In one of my favorite speeches - his 2005 Stanford commencement speech - he encourages the students to do one thing: follow their hearts. Every day, he would look in the mirror. He would ask himself if he was excited about what he was going to do that day. If the answer was no too many days in a row, he would simply change what he was doing. No what ifs. No looking back.

If you've never taken the time to watch this speech, I encourage you to do it now. It's a speech on mortality, entrepreneurship, karma, and magic. You won't regret the fifteen minutes you spent on this.

Rest in peace, Steve Jobs. My father said it best: "God must have needed help with his computers, because he called the very very best home."


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