RIP Steve Jobs

No end of obituaries and articles and posts on Steve Jobs this morning. And deservedly so. I’m not sure I’d have done terribly well working for someone of his temperament – I’ve yet to meet a visionary who was easy to deal with on a daily basis. But like millions, I’ve benefitted from Jobs’ vision, and the ability of those who worked with him to make that vision a beloved reality.

Of all the posts out there, this one, by Anirban, I found the most important. It points out many things that are being glossed over, or being drowned out in the coverage – that Apple wasn’t first at many things, and that it’s still a limited market. But here’s the bit that I find most important:

Today, with the Kindle, Amazon is replicating the iTunes model with the publishing industry. Steve Jobs taught us that content may be king, but distribution is the entire battlefield.

Indeed.

I’ve used Macs for everything creative – video, audio, you name it – since 1997. The only holdout was writing – which I could do on anything, and therefore did on company provided PCs. When I went freelance, there was no question that I’d buy  a mac.

I’m not a MacHead. I’ve never stood in line at the Apple store for anything. And I still haven’t gotten the iPhone – figured I could wait another couple of weeks and get the newest iteration. It doesn’t matter if it’s not what people were hoping for, it’ll be a new era compared to my, um, “feature” phone. And I’m not a loyalist – as I once posted on a facebook status update:

Oh spinning beach ball of death, I hate you as much as I hated the hourglass, be not you fooled. Yours truly, the tech agnostic.

But you know what? I posted that in February of this year. At which point my macbook was nearly 4 years old, and I use it roughly 16 hours a day, 365 days a year. I cycled through PCs a lot faster in the last decade. They got wheezy in a year.

I bought a Mac for the reasons most people buy them in my professional acquaintance – it’s easier and more efficient in the Macworld for anyone who is even remotely creative. They cost more, but they come with everything I need or may need, and I have to work really hard to break them. And I don’t care that Apple wasn’t the first to come up with mp3 players or smart phones or tablets. I care that when there was a problem, I head for the Genius Bar, drop it off for them to “Make it So!” typically without a fee, go shopping, and come back to pick up a fixed well-designed machine. End of story.

I am incredibly fortunate in that I can earn by reading, writing, and producing. This is a direct result of the Macs that made it possible for me, the rookie, to be useful in an editing bay 15 years ago. Were it not for those years at a Mac, I have no idea where I’d be. I would have figured something out. But it would not have been this, which I enjoy and excel at.

Thank you, Steve. RIP.

Steve Jobs silhouette in apple

Steve Jobs, 1955 - 2011

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