I know there will be a lot written about Steve Jobs resigning over the next few days – way too much. But it would have been odd not to make a comment about this apparently minor event of a CEO resignation here on my blog.
I am sure PC users will be bewildered at the wailing and gnashing of teeth that will emerge from the Mac community – but then they never did really understand what we were so passionate about. It’s just a computer isn’t it? Well yes and no.
Job’s once said he was building “a bicycle for the mind” and that is what has had such a huge impact on my life. I have always had this feeling of potential and possibility from my computing, that it was an enabler rather than an end in itself. Whether it is me writing my book, or my daughter editing amazing films, it is the joy of making something that Macs have, for me, been uniquely great at, that I dread losing.
I have always had a very strong sense that Jobs cared what my computing felt like. That there was passion built into the devices I have had so much pleasure using. This quote from him reveals the focus behind that feeling:
“We think the Mac will sell zillions, but we didn’t build the Mac for anybody else. We built it for ourselves. We were the group of people who were going to judge whether it was great or not. We weren’t going to go out and do market research. We just wanted to build the best thing we could build.
When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.”
I know he is not dead, and that Tim Cook will hopefully keep the huge ship that is now Apple on course, but I am not ashamed to admit shedding a tear this morning at the coming to an end of an era that has had had such a significant impact on my life.