Thanks Steve Jobs, I’m a Mac!

Steve Jobs didn’t just create products, he created consumer identities. Sure, he changed the way we listen to music, chat on the web, talk on the phone and a whole hosts of other things, but what I think is so remarkable is that he changed the way we express who we are through the technology we own. Are you a Mac or a PC? Do you have an iPhone or a Blackberry? These are questions that tell us as much about one’s identity as some of the questions on the national census report.

The first time the name Mac(intosh) took on a meaning that meant more to me than “lackluster computers that geeks like” I was at a summer journalism camp at Ball State University. I decided to take a course in page design and thus had my first in-depth encounter with an Apple computer (and consequently Adobe products). It was love at first crash. Back then, Macs were different beasts. They were big and clunky machines; there were zip disks & drives, lots of crashes met with that error message with the bomb (the equivalent of today’s spinning wheel of death) and many nights spent scouring autosave vaults for files that you’d likely end up spending the next six hours recreating. But somehow, instead of swearing off Macs forever, you felt like you’d just been hazed in to Mac fraternity. Suddenly PC’s didn’t seem like better products at all. You began to enjoy the window-less operating system, you began to feel superior to your friends who’s PC’s told them what to do instead of the opposite.

As Mac products improved, I became a die-hard user. Each time a new product came out, I felt like it was made just for me, like the people at Mac had been in the lab with me that time I lost the whole front page of the paper an hour before it needed to go to print, they had heard my expletives and they had fixed it for me. That’s the magic of Steve Jobs Apple Fraternity, he kept innovation and the forefront of the company and was never afraid to pick a starting point and then continue to improve. And improve they absolutely did.

I was the proud owner of a first generation iPod. I think back on it, with those four buttons at the top and that circle-dial thingy, its Game-Boy like screen that only listed songs. In comparison to the iPod’s of today it seems laughable, but in 2002 when I pulled it out of my bag on an airplane, the grown man next to me gasped and said “can I see that?” That was (and still is) the incredible thing about Steve Job’s innovation; it compelled you to just reach out touch it. Likewise, I remember sitting in a Starbucks in 2005 and pulling out my Powerbook G4 and the gentlemen sitting across from me stuttering in to his cell-phone. He caught his breath and then apologized to whomever he was speaking and said, “Sorry, someone just took out the computer of my dreams.” That’s how I felt just last year when I first held the iPad.

Steve Job’s legacy is vast. He will be remembered as an innovator, visionary and tremendous business leader. But what I will take from Steve Jobs is a story of transparent growth. His willingness to introduce a product and then improve upon it in front of our very eyes is a tremendous testament to his strength and courage. I can only hope that I can mirror that behavior in my life. Just imagine, if we all said, “here’s my starting point, now help me grow to the next level”, and did this continuously throughout our lives. Sure the criticism would be tough, and the journey difficult, but eventually you’d grow from being a 1998 iMac into a 2011 iPad, and I think that’s pretty cool. I’m proud to say, I’m some version of a Mac, we’ll see where I end up.

Discover

Rock Your Entrepreneur Status

Welcome to the ranks of the newly entrepreneurial. While many people think you're crazy to pursue this lifestyle, others are...

New Years Resolution Statistics

RankTop 10 New Years resolutions for 2020Percent1Lose Weight / Healthier Eating21.4%2Life / Self Improvements12.3%3Better Financial Decisions8.5%4Quit Smoking7.1%5Do...

The New Perfect Smile Isn’t That Perfect

Put down the whitening strips. Imperfect is in. THE COSMETIC-DENTAL-MAKEOVERcraze that took...

Meet the Man Who Bought Patek Philippe’s $24 Million Watch

"It's once again in good hands." Patek Philippe is no stranger to record-breakers. The Swiss...

My Vacation Style: British Menswear Designer Lou Dalton Heads to Barcelona

"We have a long-standing tradition of impromptu sing-alongs or games, and this year we're all doing a cabaret night."

Sponsor

Latest

Would You Wear a Male Engagement Ring?

Pre-wedding bling is no longer a ladies-only affair, but what man wants to slip on an I'm-getting-married band?

Cash In on Friends and Family

Entrepreneurs looking to raise startup funds often think of going to angels and venture capital firms. But it may be far...

The Coolest Rolex Watches Ever Made

You won't find these all-black vintage Rolexes in stores. In fact, the Swiss watchmaker has never made a black timepiece. They are...

When You Wish Upon A*

Results day. It’s hard to miss at this time of year – there aren’t...

Moorila: Best Destination Winery in Tasmania, Australia

Renowned art collector and professional gambler David Walsh revamped Moorilla when he took over the downtrodden winery in Hobart, Tasmania, in...