Steve Jobs: A Tribute To My Hero

Originally posted on General Musings of an Idiot.

I wanted to write something on this very sad afternoon which reflected my own personal feelings. As you will all be aware by now, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs sadly died this morning, after a seven year battle with pancreatic cancer, at the age of 56.

Now a lot has been, and will be written about Steve over the next few days and weeks. But I wanted to add my own personal feelings to the growing number of pages across the web expressing their deepest sadness at the loss of a wonderful man.

Steve Jobs - 1955-2011

I never met Steve Jobs. I never spoke to him, I never heard from him. I knew him as much as the majority of you reading this. But Steve Jobs was my hero – he was the man I wanted to be. Whenever I felt down, I’d turn to some form of Apple product to cheer me up, or go and watch another keynote to discover the true art of capturing people. Steve was the type of man you didn’t need to meet to know. In fact, you already knew him.

His driven nature led to products that people couldn’t have dreamed of. A personal computer with a mouse? ‘Won’t work’, many said. Now look where the Mac is, with its 24% market share.

A portable digital music player?! ‘Will never take off’, many said. So Steve went and sold over 300 million iPods, just to prove a point.

And then the penny dropped – this man was a genius. He’d gone and changed the face of technology with his pioneering ideas and his inventions that would change the way we live.

The iPhone and the world went crazy. This week saw the fifth generation of iPhone being launched, and over 90 million iPhones have been sold and shipped around the globe. And that figure will double over the next year on projected growth sales.

What about Steve’s final big idea – the iPad? Tablet computing was the way forward, and Steve realised this in early 2006, so set to work on designing a device that would be capable of doing so. In April 2010, it hit the market, and within a year had sold 28 million units of both the first and second generation tablets.

He also devised the idea of Apple retail stores, giving consumers an opportunity to play with and hopefully buy the products that are made by Apple. Customer service was always key for Steve – it was always something that he believed very much in. I don’t think anyone has ever had a bad experience in an Apple store that wasn’t fixed by a member of staff. It’s a wonderful place.

I was in an Apple store the day Steve resigned during August, and it was a very weird atmosphere – very sombre. Each employee knew a part of the company had just disappeared, and they were very down. Each customer knew they were with the Apple family on a very strange day in Apple history. And I would hate to have been near an Apple store today – it will have been a very dark day in those big glass buildings.

I own an iPhone. I own an iPad. We as a family own a Mac. And I use the devices each and every day, and I couldn’t wish for easier and more intuitive devices to use. They make life so much simpler, and also make my days become so much easier.

The only word that sums up Steve Jobs is ‘genius’. I don’t think there is, or has been, anyone in the technology market that has ever given so much to how we live.

The news filtered through last night of his sad passing here in the UK, and the tributes began to pour in. At the time of writing, over 35 million people in China have paid tribute to the man behind the biggest technology brand in the world.

But that’s not just why he’s my hero. The man has had three major health scares, but battled on because he loved his job so much. There was a passion and a fire there that meant he gave 100% every single day, no matter what his health was like, because he adored his company so much.

He also made some very shrewd, and very clever business decisions and investments that led to him becoming a multi-billionaire, all of which will now end up with the many charities and foundations he supported throughout his life.

There also wasn’t a day that went by that Steve Jobs wasn’t smiling – his outlook on life was something everyone should have to adopt. He was proud of what he had achieved, and wanted the world to know quite how proud, and that’s something special in itself.

He was someone special – someone really quite special. Again, I never met him, but the vibe you got from everyone was that he was just a man who had all the time in the world for you, and equally wanted to make sure you left with a smile. He was a God-like figure to many who looked up to him, and aspired to be him.

Without him, the likelihood of us having the platforms to spread our views – on blogs, on Twitter, using Facebook, through networking on the web – would have been a lot slimmer. Most of these sites were built on a Mac, and are accessed daily via an iPhone or an iPad, and that’s what helped grow the sites so quick. It’s quite remarkable how much input the man has had.

Today really is a very sad day, not just for the technology industry, but for the world as a whole. Steve Jobs brought so much to us, but didn’t want anything bar your custom and a smile in return. He has changed the way we all live, and for the better too.

I Tweeted a little earlier, and I think that just sums up everything.

Thank you Steve. Without you, my days would be a little bit darker. You are the ultimate hero.

You can leave your thoughts and condolences by sending an email to rememberingsteve@apple.com, or visiting the Apple website.

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