October 6, 2011
One of the things I enjoy about life is discovering and experiencing the intersections between people and events. I recently met someone behind the end zone of a high school football game, and before the end of the conversation we discovered that his brother was one of my son's coaches, I grew up with his brother-in-law, went to college with his cousin, and we had attended many of the same events without ever meeting. We had an instant connection, partially because of these intersections of life.
This concept of life's intersections crossed my mind around midnight last night as I watched my fourth documentary on the life of Steve Jobs. Knowing my alarm was going to be waking me in four hours wasn't a deterrent as I found myself engrossed in a life story I felt I already knew so well, and yet was captivated by the sheer genius and insight of a man whose life intersected with mine in ways he will never know.
Earlier, when I was explaining to my kids the impact of Jobs on the the way we use technology, and I told them about the first Mac I ever owned, they laughed. When I mentioned that was the first computer with a mouse, they were shocked. One of my sons, with his iPod blasting in one ear, asked "how did you click on webpages and move the cursor without a mouse?" It was at that point I realized how pervasive and how significant this man's contribution to the technology world had been. My son, just one generation younger than me, thankfully doesn't even know what a command line is.
As I sat there coming on midnight, watching a Jobs documentary on TV but using my iPad to see how the European markets were trading, I flashed back to all the Apple products I had ever owned, the Apple stock I bought in college after writing a paper on the company (and wishing I had never sold it), and my one meeting with Steve Jobs. The meeting was inconsequential, although memorable for me. The old product list, however, was impressive. I owned an Apple IIe, multiple Macs, iMacs, a Mac Powerbook, countless iPods, and iPads. The irony is that as Jobs' body finally gave out, all the products I still have are operational, including my 20+ year old Mac. It's stored in our garage, but periodically when I'm out there I'll fire it up, and marvel that the clock and calendar are still accurate each time.
I don't have any insightful comments, any words of wisdom, or any take away thoughts except to say Thank You for impacting the lives of so many with your talents, your drive, and your sheer will to be the best. Best wishes on your next adventure.