Early Wednesday morning in San Francisco, and the weather was beautiful. Blue skies and sunshine. Whenever I’m in the Bay Area, my thoughts turn to Apple’s Cupertino campus and Steve Jobs. I wondered how he was doing, considering we had not seen even a cameo of him at Tuesday’s Apple event. Then the weather turned, bringing the heavy rains and dark clouds. Must be the storm system that I had heard about, I thought at the time. Turns out it may have been the heavens weeping. Steve Jobs had passed away, as I would discover late Thursday night when my plane landed in Singapore.
Though Apple will go on, I feel an incredible void now. Does that seem silly to say? So much of my life can be chronicled by which of Apple’s creations I was using at the time. My life would ebb and flow with Steve’s involvement at Apple. I remember as a kid seeing my uncle bring home the very first Macintosh computer, and the joy of its GUI. After getting my college diploma, which was nice to look at but fairly useless, I bought my very first Mac, the Macintosh TV, which was nice to look at but fairly useless. During Apple’s ill-fated Gil Amelio era, I ran my own ill-fated company with the ill-fated Performa. To celebrate my first bonus check in radio I bought the PowerBook G3 Wallstreet II, which looked very much like a tuxedo. Starting a brand new hip-hop radio station, I got the decidedly “blingy” Aluminum PowerBook G4. And when I moved away from Hawaii to California I got a MacBook Pro 17″. You know, with the big screen, just like Hollywood. These days, with all the flying I do, it’s only fitting that I use a MacBook Air.
With Steve Jobs gone, I feel like a movie without a soundtrack.
In 2004, doctors diagnosed Steve with pancreatic cancer and gave him three months to live. That was 28 three months ago. He had already shepherded Apple from the brink of disaster to its greatest heights, but he didn’t stop there. Like John Travolta’s George Malley in “Phenomenon,” his sickness only seemed to inspire him to bigger and greater things. Steve went on to revolutionize smart phones, and then define the tablet computing era. Unfortunately, like Malley, he finally succumbed to his illness but not before changing the world. Fitting, then, that the movie’s soundtrack included the Grammy-winning “Change The World” by Eric Clapton. Do you see how important a soundtrack can be?
The best testament to anybody’s life, much more important than any legacy of technology innovation, is the fact that news reports say Steve passed away at home surrounded by his family and loved ones. When someone is reported to be “found dead,” especially after a period of time, it conjures sad thoughts. In the end, Steve’s death was a personal triumph much as his life was a business triumph.
Thanks for the soundtrack, Steve. You will be missed.