iLegend: We are privileged to have lived in the time of Steve Jobs

One day we’ll fully realise just how much Steve Jobs changed our lives. I just don’t think we can appreciate it as much as history will allow our children to.

He was an inventor in the truest sense of the word. Right up there with the greatest inventors of the modern age: Leonardo Da Vinci, Howard Hughes, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford. Men who invented something out of nothing.

Here was someone who created entirely new categories of products out of thin air.

He made the personal computer a reality, invented the graphical user interface (which Microsoft popularised in the mass market as Windows), perfected portable music players, conceived the first real smartphone and created the tablet.

Compare Microsoft’s never released tablet and Apple’s iPad; a near-perfect product people queued for.

Most importantly, he created products (bits of metal, glass and silicon) that people loved. That they felt a true connection with.

In our lifetimes, there is honestly no one that has come close. And he existed in a space that is almost impossible to define. Untouchable and revered, yet feared as the ultimate competitor.

Steve Jobs saw the future. Perhaps he saw too far into the future. Beyond what even the smartest technologists and researchers thought was possible.

Apple’s new personal assistant app, Siri, launched just two days ago is perfect evidence of that. In 1987, Apple offered a glimpse of the future with the Knowledge Navigator. It predicts touch technology, a tablet-type computer, voice recognition, artificial intelligence… all within a consumer device. Most mind-blowing of all is that the graphical web did not exist when this video came out.

Apple predicted 2011 (seriously), 25 years ago.

Absolutely and utterly astonishing.

I was a (very) latecomer to the Apple party. The iPod was “cool”, but the iPhone 4 changed all that.

I love my MacBook Air. I didn’t love my company-issue HP laptop. I don’t think I’ve ever loved a device. Until Apple.

Am I “high” on Apple’s Kool-Aid? Are we all?

Mesmerised. I remember being absolutely mesmerised by Jobs in every single grainy, buffering-buffering-buffering Apple keynote I’ve watched. Completely enthralled and hanging onto every single word. And this was before I owned an Apple product. We are so lucky to have been able to watch a genius in an age that allowed us to. In the time of Edison, I doubt more than a thousand people knew (or cared) that he, or his ideas, existed.

Jobs’ Stanford University address offered us all, for the first (and only) time, a glimpse of the fiercely private human being. It is sad, and yet incredibly wonderful that we actually got to see just a glimmer of his love.

A magician. A visionary. A genius.

Farewell Steve.

Image: Nicholas Longo



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