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A Tribute to Steve Jobs

October 6, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Blog | 1 comment


Steve Jobs died yesterday.

The news, while expected, still had the impact of shock, and throughout the social-sphere and in the news the tributes poured out…fueled again and again by the sentiment that Steve Jobs had made an impact on their lives in a unique and important way. At one point Twitter buckled under the weight of all of the messages, something the New York Times called the technological equivalent of a 21-gun salute.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge, loyal Apple fan, and have been for years. Even through the “bad years”. Our company uses exclusively Apple products, and the spirit of Apple innovation – and dedication to excellence – inspires us every day.

In the early incarnation of our company, we had a big, open-to-the-elements space on Matamoros street, overlooking downtown Vallarta and the Bay. People who visited invariably asked how we could manage all the computer equipment in an open-air, dusty, non air-conditioned environment such as what we had. I’d always respond, “no problem – its Apple.”

In recent years, whenever there has been an Apple presentation, we have hooked into a live stream or blog and watched Steve Jobs present…the future. On the day of the iPad announcement, I was so certain of the importance of the rumored tablet computer that we watched Steve unveil it on a rouge live feed with beers and popcorn. I knew I was seeing something that would – once again – change how we experience the world.

I met Steve Jobs, once. It was somewhere in late 1986, and I was working for Merrill Lynch in Princeton, in the Business Financial Services division. These were the times before Internet video streaming, and Merrill had a closed circuit TV station to broadcast to its offices. We were doing a special series on innovation, and we were featuring NeXT, and Jobs (it was before the products had been released…a sneak peak at what would be coming). There were others in that series, but I only remember Jobs. In 1985 he had been famously fired from the company he created, and on Wall Street it was a very public smack-down. Punishment for not pleasing the shareholders. In hindsight we can see it was a very poor choice of short term profits over long term vision.

Steve was intense, focused, confident. Not arrogant. To watch him up close, to hear him talking about coming back from this very public failure, was one of the more formative lessons of my business life. Most important though was that – despite the obvious personal pain this experience had caused – he had moved ahead to what was NeXT, literally. His passion, his excitement was tangible. It was so very obvious that Steve Jobs absolutely loved what he did. I will always remember the complete intensity of his eyes. From my place in the Wall Street world I had rarely seen such enthusiasm, and it had an impact on me. It wasn’t too long after that when I made the decision to leave Merrill Lynch and follow a completely uncertain path in my life, which eventually led me to Mexico and to where I am today. I only knew that I wanted to create something, not just profit off of the creations of others. For me, that encounter was a “dot” in my life.

So many millions have their personal stories about how their lives have been inspired, impacted, made easier or more fun by the visionary products of Apple under the leadership of Steve Jobs. And although today marks the beginning of a new era, I believe we are just about to experience “one more thing”…

iCloud. This will be another game changer, and it seems no one is giving it the attention it deserves. Too many people are writing off Tuesday’s presentation and the fact that it was “only” the iPhone 4S and their disappointment it wasn’t iPhone 5. Get over it, and look at the real news. Just as iTunes changed the music industry, iCloud will change personal computing. We are about to become truly untethered. It’s the first step on an eventual path. Not even the first step, because others – such as Amazon – already have impressive cloud storage services available, but they haven’t been fully understood or appreciated. Or, made easy to use.

The October 12 release of the iOS 5 operating system and iCloud will mark a new phenomena. All iOs devices (meaning your iPhone, iPad, laptop, etc) can now automatically, wireless sync, updating information between devices, and storing that information in “the cloud” -meaning it will be available to you anytime, anywhere.

If you haven’t made the time to do so yet, check it out. The way I see it, it is one last gift given to us by Steve Jobs, and the one that perfectly ties together all of the others into a beautiful bundle that enables us to be more creative, productive, entertained and inspired. We haven’t seen the beauty of this yet, because we don’t know how much we really need it…want it.

For me, I plan to honor the memory of Steve Jobs by making my mantra from this day forward be: Think Different.

Thank you, Steve Jobs.

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One Comment to “A Tribute to Steve Jobs”

  1. I couldnt have said it any better to be honest! keep up the awesome work. You are very talented & I only wish I could write as good as you do :)

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