I do not own an iPhone or a Mac and I staunchly stand by my Blackberry and PC. My iPod with its measly 88 songs is all but permanently attached to its Bose sound dock and is used solely for my 10 minutes of exercise each morning.
Yet, when I read that Steve Jobs had died, I felt a profound sense of loss and shock that someone who had changed our world had not only died, but died too young.
I can’t begin to describe what Jobs did for technology, music and movies. Others will say it better. In fact, by 8:10 pm tributes were piling up online and #ThankYouSteve was trending on Twitter. It was important that I mark this event with more than a tweet when I saw the reaction in my own family.
My 14-year old daughter was using the computer when the obituary popped up and I heard her yell, “OMG!”
My six-year old son and I ran to where she was doing her homework and it was he who after seeing the news said, “wow, better tell dad.” Even at such a tender age he knows Steve Jobs because he has an iPhone (Dad’s old 3GS), an iPad and is a Pixar movie lover. So there the four of us stood reading the LA Times obituary, and watching the Google search begin to fill up with statements from all over the world.
Over 30 years, Jobs was a singular force in changing the way we see, hear and touch the world at work, at home and on the go. It is said he will be remembered on par with Thomas Edison. I see his imprint on my children as they expect technology to be not only available but beautiful. While much has changed, we are still only at the beginning of an evolution in the way we consume and access information that especially inspires and excites those of us in the communication field.
The rbb Public Relations email grapevine is already buzzing and I’m sure tomorrow our Digital Park folks will have their own, more detailed analysis of what Steve Jobs meant for communicators, but tonight I’m just a consumer, amazed by what one person achieved in such a short time without compromising his principles. And I’m astounded by how he did it all while facing personal and physical battles that few would have faced with such fortitude and courage.
As I watched the tributes go by, I noticed a quote Jobs gave to the Wall Street Journal on May 25, 1993, he said, “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.”
I think Jobs got his wish to be known for what matters as many of us will go to bed tonight remarking on all the wonderful things he did.