Wednesday, October 05, 2011

RIP Steve Jobs 1955 - 2011

I never owned a Mac. My dad was a huge computer buff for as long as I can remember, and even in the early 80s we owned a computer. At the age of 8, I had a computer in my room, which was long before any of my other friends. Since that time, I've always had my own computer. But it never ended up being a Mac. I've actually never personally owned an Apple product (though I've played with plenty).

My dad remained a staunch PC man, even though he always had huge respect for Apple. He always claimed they were the better product, but felt PC was the better choice due to compatibility. Though by the 2000s, that argument didn't really hold too much weight since Apple could run almost any quality program (or a good version/knock-off of it) that a PC could. Despite that adaption, my dad remained a PC man, and by default so did I (despite being in my 30s, I've somehow lucked out in getting my dad to purchase every computer I've ever owned -- Christmas can be a wondrous thing).

I'm not saying that an Apple product has never been in my house. Emily owns a MacBook. I take every opportunity to play with it that I can. It’s a high quality product and still runs great considering she bought it back in 2006. It has been great for creating snappy videos and high quality power point presentations. I realize a PC can do all that, but I always found Em's MacBook did it far better than any program I could find for my PC. It's a wonderful laptop, and has tested my PC allegiance many times.

I've got many friends that have long abandoned their PC love. I know a few that swear by their iMacs or MacBooks or iWhatevers. Apple really did create its own culture. It probably has some of the most loyal fans around. It definitely reshaped the entire computer industry. When people look back at these last few decades, Apple will be considered one of the defining companies and one that created a whole new culture. It helped define a time.

I said I never owned an Apple product, but that isn't to say I never wanted to. I've spent my time in the Apple Store. I've allowed several hours go by while playing with an iPad. I even took on a writing assignment once, so that I could borrow my dad's iPad (yeah, he has been swayed as well). I do want an iPad. I am still trying to come up with a reason to justify its purchase. It is a fun little toy, and it will be mine someday.

I admit I am not a diehard Apple fan. But I realize the massive impact that Steve Job has left on the world. He has left a bigger mark on the entire globe than almost anyone else. There are politician and humanitarians and so forth that may have made more positive changes or done much more noteworthy things, but there is no disputing that Steve Jobs helped define our times. He has left a legacy. One that very few will ever be able to compare to.

His legacy is being the co-founder of Apple and being responsible for some of the most revolutionary technological products ever. But I'd argue he left even more than that. He left behind the reminder that 'dreaming big' is an ingredient for success. He took this garage style company and created a massive empire. He entered into an industry with potential, and helped make it one of the most lucrative ever. He was an innovator and a leader. It happened because he dared to have big dreams. He took risks and transformed into an innovator. I know that is something I want instilled into my future child. He was the type of person I'll tell my kids about, and give as an example as to why they shouldn't ever be afraid to dream.

The man was an inspiration and not just for computer enthusiasts or tech junkies. He was an example for all dreamers. He was a reminder that the successful think outside the box. He led a company that did things that many others never even considered, and then those companies eagerly followed Apple's lead. Without Apple, there are so many electronics and operating systems and programs that would not exist today. He really revolutionized an industry. All because he had the guts to follow his dreams and makes his visions a reality.

Thank you Steve Jobs for some really amazing products. More importantly, thank you for inspiring this dreamer, and reminding me, it is important to take risks and believe you can change this world.

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