I listened to music as a kid, but it was not until the invention of the iPod, in 2001, that I truly discovered music and artists I still listen to today. Do you remember the first song you ever listened to on an iPod? I do. Sound and Vision, by David Bowie, on Christmas Day 2001. Thank you Jobs (and my parents).
In 1995, my parents took me to an Apple Retailer named Williams Computers to purchase my first computer. It was a Macintosh Performa, and with it came a printer and scanner ( both also manufactured by Apple). This was expensive stuff, at least 5000 dollars. I was 15 years old at the time. Yeah, my parents recognized my love for art and are huge supporters and that is something I will always be thankful for. Although I was not allowed to have internet access in my room, I spent more time messing around with an early version of Illustrator and Corel Draw, than I did with the AOL connected Gateway downstairs. I felt something early on, that the Macintosh was a product of artistic empowerment.
Sounds cliche, but it's true. Later in my twenties when I worked for Apple, I experienced people of all ages that expressing creativity they did not even know existed through the Macintosh. In my college years, I tossed my "gaming PC " away in favor for a Powermac G4, with a studio display ( still my favorite piece of Apple equipment), which was used during my days as a colorist for comic books. Today as a professional artist, the iPad serves as my sketchbook, the core of my artistic process. All of these devices, which were so lovingly crafted by Jobs and his team were a gift to us all, helping us understand humanities relationship with technology. I can say that I knew Steve Jobs, as can everyone else who used an Apple device, because using that device was like having a conversation with the man himself.
Much has been written on the passing of Jobs and much better than I could ever write. I will say that it was thanks to Steve Jobs that I discovered the Beatles, a band that all my friends for years told me I should listen to, but never got around to doing it. Last year, when iTunes finally gained the rights to sell the Beatles Discography, most people already had all the cds, but Jobs, being a Beatles fan, was so proud that he posted photos of the Beatles on the Apple homepage for weeks.
Steve stood at the intersection between technology and the liberal arts. At 56, he was robbed a good 20 years of precious life. So were we. We lost a visionary, a prophet and guide to navigate us through the relationship between man and machine. I can say that I know how the world must have felt when John Lennon passed.
Below are my two favorite videos of Steve. The first being his 2005 Standford Commencement speech, which is even more pivotal now than ever before. The next is his introduction to the iPhone. His best keynote speech, and a reminder of how his way of "thinking different" dramatically changed the way we use technology in our everyday lives. RIP Seve Jobs.