I first got into Macs when I was in middle school. I fell in love with Macs- the way they were designed, the way they worked, the minute details that were considered in their creation. If not for you, I would not have had long to enjoy them. Apple was on the brink of bankruptcy, Macs were soon to vanish, and the world was soon to live in a world of Windows. But you came back and you saved Apple. You made it cool again. You made it innovative again.
You were an iconic presenter – charismatic and easy to listen to, genuinely excited about your products while being direct and afraid of no questions. I was never bored. I’ve never seen a presentation by anyone in the tech industry as interesting. And they’re all inspired by you. You can see it in the way they organize their presentations, the way they speak, how they dress. You found a way to make boring technology introductions intriguing and interesting. Thank you.
You had an uncompromising eye for what was good. You said that in order to have a successful product you had to learn to say ‘no’. This is the single reason that Apple is so successful today. You said ‘no’ to a million things and only said ‘yes’ to a few. A few things that you could spend your time on and nurture. The iMac, the iPod, the iTunes Store, the iPhone, and the iPad. Each of these pushed the computer industry into a new direction. Each pushed the consumer into the future. Thank you.
You did it your way. You stuck to your course and you came out on top. You didn’t care what the press thought or what the pundits thought or what Wall Street thought. It didn’t matter if the stock dipped or a product was negatively reviewed or if some writer in a magazine didn’t understand your strategy. You knew it would work. You built it piece by piece, layer by layer, until it was done and everyone realized how great it really was. Thank you.
You learned from your mistakes. You grew up. You used technology to push the boundaries of movies, music, graphics, and lifestyle. You made design as important as function. You spent the time to make things beautiful and soothing while at the same time making them powerful and life changing. Thank you.
I think a lot of companies try to emulate Apple. I think a lot of people try to emulate you. But they don’t get it. They think that if they wear a black turtle neck and introduce a product on a stage that they are going to be successful. They don’t understand that you were an artist before being a business man, a salesman before being a nerd. You inspire me and you inspire the world. If I ever own my own company I’m going to take some pages from your book. Thank you. And rest in peace.