One of my living idols passed away. He was a genius, someone I looked up to ever since I discovered Apple computers in early 1980’s. My first computer was an Apple II (clone, but Apple OS nonetheless); my second was an incredible Christmas gift from my generous uncle, a Mac 512ke; my third computer was a clone PC which lasted less than 1 year, and from there I got the first Apple laptop and Mac performa, Mac blue workstation, iMac G4, the first iMac Intel and now the new iMac 27″ (a real beauty). I also have an iPod classic, iPod nano, 2 iPod touches, iPod shuffle, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s. I bough the first iPad the day it came out and the iPad 2 as soon as I could get my hands on one (Apple, please have the pre-order process option for every product release!). And to top it off, an Apple TV second generation is plugged in to my HDTV.
Like many people, I have always been impressed with Jobs’ uncanny ability to produce “insanely great” products, and as you can attest from my purchase list above, I’ve also taken multiple bites in the Apple. His keynotes were out of this world, so much so that Carmine Gallo wrote a book about Steve’s presentation skills: The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, which I read pretty much in one seating since it was so captivating. I’ve adopted many of the advice presented in the book and my presentations have benefited from that.
I am very sorry to see him go, and I am worried about Apple’s long-term future. The Keynote announcing the iPhone 4S was a let down, and the question begs to be asked: What would Steve have done better? First, he would have talked about “Siri”, the new personal assistant software included with iPhone 4S, as one of his famous “but there’s one more thing” moments when you think that the keynote is over when in fact the punch line has yet been introduced. The headlines the following day would not have been about the fact that it wasn’t an iPhone 5, but about Siri, the future of voice recognition and artificial intelligence in the palm of your hand. That was the real story. The phone was secondary; it was there to support the new OS and Siri.
Steve’s Stanford commencement address he delivered in 2005 was the trigger that made me decide to take the leap from a comfortable job at a large International institution and start my own business. I had been planing it for a while, but I was gun-shy, very nervous to follow my dreams. That changed when I heard Steve’s speech. The YouTube video is a must see.
Steve, we miss you already and thank you for all you’ve done. We will stay foolish and stay hungry.