Long Live Steve Jobs

Posted by on Oct 6, 2011 in Outdoor | 3 Comments

Steve Jobs is dead. Long live Steve Jobs.

steve jobs

Illustration by Charis Tsevis

I was 8 years old when my dad brought home a Macintosh computer. We unboxed it and set it up on our dining room table. My mom was understandably unexcited about sacrificing the dining space to this new electronic god of productivity and entertainment. Nevertheless, there it went. And soon enough our lives were changed. I spent hours mucking around in MacPaint. I played MacPuzzle, Lode Runner, Destroyer, Missile Command, Airborne, and many other games. It didn’t take long at all for the Macintosh to become an official member of the family. But I was too young to realize the revolutionary aspect of the personal computer.

I had no inclination that I was staring at the most important device in human history.

When I started college I began to grasp the power of the personal computer. The internet had gone mainstream. Desktop publishing—print, web, and video—was becoming a tool of the masses. The stranglehold on media distribution was weakening. I went through film school with a Mac on my desk, and a new program from Apple called Final Cut Pro. The entire set-up cost less than a high-end mountain bike. Over the next decade I’d use that Mac, and Final Cut Pro, to edit 13 feature length documentary films. I traveled around the world: Guatemala, Mexico, Jordan, Israel, Oman. I met and worked with amazing people. And I put food on the table. All because of tools Steve Jobs made available to massive numbers of people.

Today we can shoot, edit, and distribute high definition films with an iPhone.

Steve Jobs was the most transcendant man of my, and perhaps any, generation. His vision—his products—eclipsed cultural, political, economic, and religious differences. That liberals and conservatives, libertarians and communists, Muslims and Christians, all flooded Facebook and Twitter yesterday with tributes to Steve Jobs is proof enough of his impact. Of his ability to empower individuals through technology and utility.

And I suppose there is some serendipity that a man who would create millions of jobs was named Jobs.

Today each of us is better off because of Steve Jobs.

In 1985 he said that “the products speak for themselves.” True enough. But in 2011, his products are enabling millions of people to speak for themselves. That is, the revolutionary ripple that started in 1977, has today, become an unstoppable wave. Nothing is unaffected by the desktop, and now the mobile, uprising.

At our literal fingertips we hold limitless power.

In 2005 he said “That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

He moved mountains. But more importantly, he moved individuals.

Steve Jobs is dead. Long live Steve Jobs.


  1. evilbanks
    October 6, 2011

    Awesome Post

  2. Jonnie J
    October 6, 2011

    Well said.

  3. Lance Mateas
    October 6, 2011

    Well said. It’s the ability of so many people to create such beautiful, polished work so easily that makes Apple products so fantastic. I knew this day was coming quickly, even as I hoped it wouldn’t.

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