Godspeed, Steve

The world lost a great mind today.   Although I had warning, I am still more deeply affected than I would have expected.  I have admired and respected Steve Jobs and adored his products for almost 30 years. Apple is almost entirely responsible for two of the most abiding passions of my life – a fascination with technology and what it makes possible, and a love of excellent design.  When well executed, computers are, as Jobs called them, “a bicycle for the mind.”  There is no business figure I have read more books and articles about, watched more of, or followed with greater interest.  Watching him get sicker and sicker over these last years has been truly awful, and, as odd as it is to say about the CEO of a for-profit company making consumer electronic devices, I feel like a little piece of me died today as well.  I truly will miss him.  I can think of no better way to mark his passing than to dig up the following note I wrote him right after his liver transplant, a month after the iPad debut, when he had begun to make regular headlines for answering the occasional private email, and Apple was taking a lot of heat for refusing to support flash on the iPhone.

He never got back to me, but I hope my note brought him some tiny fraction of the joy he’s brought me.

From: Christopher Mirabile
Subject: Stick to your beliefs!
Date: May 15, 2010 4:00:57 PM EDT


I love that you are being more accessible via email.  You are a class act and a busy guy, so I’m gonna keep these kudos short:
(1) I am really pleased you are feeling better – that was a nail-biter, and I am relieved you are back!
(2) I am really pleased you are shunning Flash – everybody knows its a buggy power-hogging disaster; stick to your guns.
(3) Most Apple products are great, but some are simply incredible: here is a small list of my personal hall of fame – the really special Apple products I’ve bought that have absolutely blown me away (culled out of the hundreds I have bought over the 26 years I’ve been a customer):
  • 1984 128K Mac (simply incredible)
  • Mac SE/30 (all-around best classic Mac by far)
  • Newton MessagePad (didn’t work out well or turn out to be that useful, but still blew me away)
  • AirPort (game-changing)
  • OS X (where should I start…)
  • AirTunes (every single weekend, all weekend)
  • iPhoto (15,000 photos and counting)
  • iBook G4 (first excellent laptop)
  • iPhone 1G, 3G & 3GS (breathtaking)
  • AppleTV (not bad for a hobby)
  • MacBook Air (still blows me away every time I grasp it)
  • 17″ MacBook Pro (heavy, but potent)
  • 27″ iMac LED screen (my daily workhorse)
  • MagicMouse (cannot recall what I did before these!)
  • iPad (beginning of the end of the mouse paradigm)
Keep up the good work – here’s to another 26 years!
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  1. Jen Robinson says

    I’m a much more recent user of Apple’s products than you are, Christopher. But as a person who loves and appreciates the history of technology, I’m sad today, too. Thanks for putting your thoughts into words so well.

  2. John Kenyan says

    I share your love of Apple products and the genius behind them. I go all the way back to that 128K Mac with shuffling floppy disks!

    I recently finished reading a special TIME printing devoted to Steve.

    It’s a collection of essays/eulogies that focus on different aspects of his personality and how it related to his success and failures.

    Some of the writing is terrific. Thought you’d enjoy it.



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