As you can probably tell I am not a big fan of anything Proprietary but regardless of my reasons for not using Apple Products even I have to admit when a company gets it right and with the passing of Steve Jobs on October 5, 2011 it made me really think about how he really built a legacy around getting it right, but we live in a disposable society and will the legacy he built truly be enough?
Now I actually thought about not doing anything about the Life and Times of Steve Jobs but well as a geek it would not be right to let his accomplishments go without paying tribute to him…so rather than my typical Thursday Rant…this one is for you Steve. Rest in Peace.
Under the guidance of Steve Jobs, Apple propelled to be a powerhouse in consumer electronics, his passing will leave a void in the lives that he touched I am sure. I have watched many interviews and read many reports that while he was a stern task master and at times hard to get along with…you don’t build a $65 Billion company with 46,000 employees without rubbing a few people wrong along the way.
As a company, Apple Computers (or as the company is known today just Apple) was started in the Cupertino California garage of a couple of geeks back in 1976 when Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs joined together to produce the Apple I. The company began to grow and built their first mass market system for the consumer masses in 1977 and incorporated the company with the release of the Apple II. The 34 years since that launch from humble beginnings (that is very similar to two other Silicon Valley natives (Dave Hewlett and Dave Packard) back in 1939 when HP was created in Palo Alto), Apple has not had a smooth ride along the way but found its steam full force when it moved to, promoted and dominated the Digital Age with its iPod, iPhone and iPad.
Personally though I would like to think to his time outside of Apple when he left the safety of the then growing company to blaze new trails with NeXT Computers and the vastly superior NeXTStep OS that continues to survive today in both the iOS and Mac OSX at the foundation. The acquisition of the very progressive NeXT and the return of Steve Jobs in 1997 really started Apple down the new path that we see today. If you don’t remember the NeXT computer or even better the NeXTStep OS jump on over to http://www.nextcomputers.org in the days when a power house computer was 50 Mhz and 8MB of RAM (for comparison check out my Beast)
At the same time that I look at all that Steve Jobs built as a visionary and leader of the World’s most admired company (according to Fortune Magazine in 2008, 2009 and 2010) I look to my own mortality and the wonder will the dominance that Apple has enjoyed for the past decade be enough to sustain the company or will a new visionary have to emerge to keep the spark alive for the company?
Earlier this week I was faced with a strange pain that forced me to go to the emergency room here in London, ON and face the thing I hate the most…my own inability to control the future when it comes to my health. With a legacy of my own that I am trying to build could that all be torn away from me? I have so much more to do…and then as it always seems to be with an emergency room…all the tests were inconclusive, no cause for the pain (that no offence was in the top 5 that I have felt in my life) and I would have to follow up with my family doctor. Not an answer that I wanted to here but well…it is what it is and off to the doctor I go.
Well, today is the first day before tomorrow so my pearl of wisdom to each of you…live today like it will be your last. Love life for what it is, focus on the big picture and enjoy your day.
Chris J Powell