Many people woke this morning and read about Steve Jobs’ untimely passing on a device that bore the brand Apple. Fifteen years ago that would have been unthinkable.
Steve Jobs fits into the classic mould of the maverick. Irritable, Stubborn, Driven, Passionate, Genius, Visionary, Impulsive, good and bad in equal measures. An immigrant son, adopted, college dropout he proved that by simply ‘thinking different’ you can achieve great things.
He cared and taught that form and function could be partners rather than diametrically opposed. There were times when Apples’ products were leading but not cutting edge but the style, design and delivery triumphed. The truly delivered a brand way beyond the shell of the product.
Stephen Fry claims Steve is the greatest contributor to our culture in the last 30 years. At first an astonishing claim but delve deeper and you are forced to recognise that there is a truth to those words.
I never met Steve Jobs, I’ve never been to No 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino, California (- I’ve only been as far as Apple UK in Stockley Park) but I’ve always looked forward to seeing him peform. Waiting with eager expectedness for the words ‘and finally…’ and the imminent delivery of practical magic and awe. He was one of the best presenters and business marketeers I’ve ever seen. The ability to capture a stage, in a simple black top and faded jeans is legendary. Yes the cult like following and the Apple zealots can be a bit silly at times, but at least you can see where it comes from.
He will be sorely missed. Apple will dip, recover and move on, in the spirit of Steve. But there will be no more last minute surprises, no knowing smile and stubborn determination to deliver something new and break new ground in quite the same way. Steve Jobs was a visionary, a one off, he showed us all that with a dream, determination and desire we all can be ‘insanely great’.