Reflections on Steve Jobs

I grew up just outside Rt 128 in Boston. The children of the founders of DEC and Wang were friends and classmates. I’ve spent most of my adult life shuttling between the other three great tech centers in the US – Silicon Valley, Seattle, and Austin. My domain expertise, such as it is, revolves around introducing new technologies to the market. As part of my apprenticeship I spent seven years at Apple.

This can be an insular world (a sub genre of humor that revolves around technical support?!) and from the inside it is hard to gauge where the work we do really fits into the larger scheme of things.

There is an enormous amount of self serving BS generated as part of the tech innovation cycle. One of the earliest survival skills young nerds need to cultivate is what we jokingly call Rule #1 – never believe your own BS.

Thus it was a bit of a surprise to wake in London this morning and see the news about Steve Jobs on the front pages of The Guardian and The Telegraph littering the halls of our hotel.

Steve (in Apple that was all he went by) embodied so much of what makes brand USA so compelling and so aggravating. The sweeping braggadocio backed up by staggeringly creative innovation executed with precision and efficiency. He was perhaps the best ambassador the technocracy has ever had.

Mountains of press will be spilled over this event. All I wanted to say today is that one of my great heroes has passed – but his genius lives on in the tools every one of us uses to express ourselves. He was far more than a tech genius, he was a citizen of the world.


One response to “Reflections on Steve Jobs”

  1. Anonymous says:

    A very nice piece. You have a point about Steve pushing the ultimate in branding. Most people think Apple products will make them cool and happy. Every commercial says the same thing about every product, but Apple is one of the few that it is assumed.

    In a funny way I think that is why people are so bummed out. We are not sure if Apple without Steve will keep supplying us with such a steady diet of coolness. We might actually have to make our own, which is much harder.

    Take Care,