I never met Steve Jobs but oh boy, have I bought a lot of his company's products over the years. Walk through my house and you'll find Apple desktop computers, laptops, iPhones, iPads and a series of iPods, including a couple without a color screen that seem impossibly antiquated. There are also a few orphaned charging cords that must match up with something.
I like to think of my iTunes library as being eclectic, but in truth, I'm a creature of the era of my teens, so there is a lot of 70s music. When that music first came out, I could not have imagined having thousands of songs on a machine the size of a deck of cards. Instead, I was focused on trying not to scratch my records, a pursuit that usually proved fruitless.
I showed a friend my MacBook Air recently. She took the featherweight laptop from me, smiled and said simply, "That's amazing." How often has that reaction been played out when a new Apple product has hit the market?
So because he has touched my life in so many ways, I wanted to take a few minutes to reflect on the life of an American business titan. Steve Jobs impacted our lives, at work, at home, on the move, in a way that perhaps no other recent entrepreneur has done. He didn't solve world hunger or bring peace to the Middle East, but he did delight and enrich the lives of millions of us. Do I wish he could have manufactured all those millions of iPods and other gear in the United States instead of in China? Absolutely, but recognizing that, we can't dismiss the thousands of other jobs he created here and the many lives he inspired with his passion, creativity and singular pursuit of excellence.
Last year, I interviewed Carmine Gallo, the author of "The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs." I asked Gallo if armed with the lessons in his book, any company could be as innovative as Jobs and Apple. He quickly answered, "No, because it takes a lot of courage to be innovative. It takes courage to defy skeptics and naysayers. It takes courage to make things simple. It takes courage to communicate consistently to your teams and consumers. It takes courage and confidence and belief in your vision. Not everybody has that courage."
Steve Jobs had that courage. I am sure he brought that courage to his final battle. I hope he also found peace. And for all the fun and delight I have found in Apple products he helped to create, I just want to say thanks.