Let me start by setting the record straight: I don't know Steve Jobs, never met him, I never went to one of his keynotes, I was never even near the guy! So, what I am writing is clearly not about him, but about me and the way I, subjectively, perceive Steve Jobs changed my life and is a huge part of my weltanschauung.
Despite that, my relation with Steve is real, my son just called me to give condolences on his passing, and, since I found out, my ex wife called me, I've been crying and thinking whether or not I should write this post. This Blog started pretty much with the release of the first iPod, a few months later but with a post about how my now ex wife had given me the first iPod as a Christmas present. That iPod is here beside me, it still works. That was the start of my blog and this post may be the end of it. Let's face it, I haven't written much in the past couple of years and Steve Jobs has just died.
My relation with Steve started as for millions of people with his products. The Original Macintosh, the Next Cube are indeleble pieces of my nerdiness. But I also loved Apple after Steve left, the Mac Classic is still one of my favorite machines, still around, still works, and I was the one who bought the Newton, still with me, still works, I still use it and find it more advance than my iPhone in some respects. I still regret selling the Powerbook 1400c to a friend in need. When Steve returned to Apple I thought it was a mistake... But when I saw the iMac I fell in love not only with the machine but with the way Steve did certain things. That iMac is still here, still works, still beautiful. I bought the Cube, the Titanium Powerbook and countless of machines, recently, like, in the past month! I have bought an iPhone 4, an iPad 2, and got a Macbook Air as a present from my beautiful girlfriend. All those products are remarkable, not only for the products, but for the way the mind that made them works.
Yes, yes, I hated the move to Intel, thinking it would go bad for me (it did), I hated the iPhone and its unlockability, so much so, that I joined the people trying to change that, and I did not bought an iPhone until Apple started selling them unlocked. I hated with emphasis and passion Job's Reality Distorsion Field, hated it way more than envy would justify. I hated it so much that I fought it with all my strength to the point where I predicted the failure of the iPod mini, one of Apple's most successful products, and the one that probably took it mainstream.
But for all that hatred of decisions that affected me, I admired Steve Jobs beyond measure and I feel I learned a lot by studying him, even if from afar. I admire the way he thought about design and didn't pay any mind to the normal way of thinking, I admire the way he could do what was right for the company, while keeping a straight face through the mountains of bullshit. But most of all, I admired the way he transmitted his anal retentiveness to the whole company. I can think only of another case, Disney, and that Anal retentiveness have kept that company going for over 50 years after Walt Disney passed away.
I am sad, I think people like Steve Jobs shouldn't die. And in some sense they don't, they stay alive in the mark they left on this world, and in the case of Steve Jobs it's a huge mark. They stay alive in the way they affected us, from afar. So, I fill my cup with wine, look at this city at night, and toast to Steve's memory and think... "Here's to the crazy ones..."