Today the world lost a pioneer, innovator, renegade and absolute genius. Steve Jobs has passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer at the way too early age of 56.
Yesterday the Internet was covered in shiny images of the new iPhone 4S. Today it appropriately wears a veil of mourning for a man who stoked the fires of digital ingenuity for over 35 years.
While this has been a loss felt on a global scale, I think many of us have a sort of smaller, digitally personal connection to Steve Jobs. I found out he passed away on my iPhone on the train, I listened to “Some Girls” by the Rolling Stones (one of Job’s top ten favorite records) on my iPod Nano watch walking home and I’m typing this right now on my Macbook Pro. I’ve had Macs since I first started using computers, and I can tell you that the years that Steve Jobs wasn’t running the company were completely evident in experience. It takes a lot of gifted people to make the things that Apple does, it took Steve Jobs to lead them.
Even if you’re someone who doesn’t have a Apple computer, tablet, smart phone or personal music player, you might have enjoyed the occasional Pixar movie, a studio Jobs purchased from Lucasfilm in 1986 and invested his own money in so they could begin their path to raising the bar on how computer animated movies should be made.
I already started to feel the loss of Steve Jobs yesterday during the “Let’s Talk iPhone” event. Not that there was anything wrong with it, but I missed the magical element where Jobs came out on the stage like the Wizard stepping out from behind the All Powerful Oz, reaching in to his bag to deliver hand-held wonders, maybe not always the ones that were expected, but the ones that we needed to do great things and have incredible fun.
So celebrate Steve Jobs, his life, his vision and the expansive body of marvels his career gave us. FaceTime with someone you love, play your favorite track on iTunes, or just watch “Toy Story.” Whatever you do, just try to “Think Different” while you’re doing it.