Thank You, Steve

Thank you for your inspiration.  I have paused to ask myself “What would Steve Jobs do in this situation?” many times.  Each time it reminded me to push for something great, to challenge the traditional approach.

Thank you for illuminating The User Experience.  Before Jobs, the box didn’t really matter.  A product was the measure of its features and design.  Yes, ease of use was an issue, but it didn’t drive everything.  Jobs seemed to understand using the products Apple created better than anyone.  The experience and simplicity of using the device drove EVERYTHING.   Starting with opening the box.  Do you remember opening your first iPod?  I do.  It was a totally new (and cool) experience.

Frank Lloyd Wright said he would “walk around” in his buildings in his head before he drew a single line.  He would do this for weeks, sometimes months, noticing how a hallway might not work or how late afternoon sunlight could be highlighted.  Steve must have had a similar relationship with the products experiences he gave us.

Thank you, Steve, for showing us that The Product is often so much more than the product.  The real power behind the iPod was iTunes.  He somehow knew this and he was right.  Apple became the largest retailer of music in the world in 12 months.  One hundred million songs downloaded, one song at a time.  Unthinkable at the time.

Do you remember how much music you bought the year before iPod, The Product, and how much you bought the year you owned The Product?  I do.  Before: maybe three CDs.  After: somewhere north of 250 songs.

I cried yesterday when I read Steve Jobs passed.  Probably more for us than for him.  I can’t know his physical struggle these past few years.   But to be able to chase your passion literally to within a month of your death is a privilege few of us will have.

Thank you for showing us you don’t have to be perfect to be great.  He could be a brutal boss.  He lost his company.  His NEXT computer was a spectacular failure.  And he had his share of duds at Apple.  But they were stepping stones and don’t really matter, do they?

I remember the early press on Apple.  It was one of the first tech start-ups started by “kids.”  Jobs wanted to famously “change the world.”  Coming from a 20-year-old standing with the first Personal Computer in his hand that could do little more than organize your recipes and balance your checkbook, that was quite a statement.  But he did.  He changed the world.

Thank you, Steve.

Seth Godin’s thoughts.

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