The first time I used a Macintosh was in early 1997. I was 12 and on vacation in the U.S. Remember that that was the time when the world was transitioning from floppy diskettes to 3 1/2-inch diskettes. My uncle was a Mac user, and I was strangely fascinated with a machine that didn’t exactly have what my brain thought was a CPU.
Fast forward to mid-2004, and there I was in the middle of a student conference in Shanghai, China, checking my emails on a friend’s 15-inch Powerbook. If I was strangely fascinated with a Mac seven years prior, then this time around, I completely fell in love with their machines. Typing across the smooth, silver surface of the Powerbook was quite an experience for my fingertips (of course, I admit getting confused with the menus, but that was a small setback).
My first Apple product was a first generation pink iPod Nano in early 2005, and a year later, my mother got me my first generation Macbook, which I still am using to this day. I got a fourth generation iPod Nano in 2009, which has been my daily companion while driving my car. While I have not been sold on the iPhone and the iPad, I am looking forward to getting a Macbook Pro—which I hope to get soon enough.
I write this as a realization of just how much Steve Jobs has changed my life. Sure, that sounds dramatic, but for each time I have to use a hanging PC, I think of how much I find my Macbook so much more reliable and intuitive. When I realize I forgot to bring my iPod, I rue at all the times I have to turn up the volume of the car radio and sit through the agony of DJs that talk too much.
That said, I was gutted when I opened my email this morning, and the first email that I read at about quarter to eight in the morning is a news alert that Steve Jobs succumbed to the pancreatic cancer that he had been fighting for about seven years. Of course, it hits close to home—and that’s not just because I always wished Steve Jobs would adopt me.
Many people would remember Steve Jobs for Apple’s products that ultimately changed how we go about our day-to-day lives. Yet, I wonder how many would remember him for the profound insights that he had, for the values that he stood for and on which he built his empire? These are the values that drove innovation; these are the values that made Steve Jobs a giant.
I will forever remember his 2005 Stanford commencement address clearly since the time I read the text: Connect the dots. Find a job that you love. Stay hungry. Stay foolish.
He also celebrated the Crazy Ones—the ones who were daring enough to change the world, and certainly did. He certainly belonged to that selected few that were truly called the Crazy Ones. And you know why.
Thank you, Uncle Steve.
(P.S. I would like my Mum to meet you there in heaven. She’ll probably tell you to throw a Macbook Pro my way. Please, please, please.)