RIP Steve Jobs, the Geek Generation Loses Their John Lennon
RIP Steve Jobs.
I saw the news in the early hours of yesterday morning (UK time), whilst I was sitting cross-legged on the bedroom floor trying to force conference badges through my (non-Apple) printer without much luck.
It was a rather surreal moment. We all knew he was ill, really ill, and judging by his last appearance, Steve Jobs, was fighting his illness, but it was proving to be a tough battle. Even so, the news was still unexpected and sheds light on the new Apple CEO’s sombre performance at the iPhone launch the previous day.
It’s very sad, for his family, and for the tech industry in general, but trying to get some perspective is difficult when every news outlet splashing the story across their front page, ticker and broadcasts. Predictably, social media went nuts.
In this maelstrom of media, trying to get some perspective is tricky, but maybe the impact is similar to the feeling when John Lennon was shot in 1980. I was too young to have realised the impact of that event, but it turns out, I’m not the only one to draw this comparison.
People connected with John Lennon as an artist, with a visceral connection to his work. Can Steve Jobs really be held compared? My answer: yes. If anything, for this generation maybe more so.
His innovation at the cross-roads of technology and design has re-defined an industry. A phone without buttons, probably inconceivable pre-iPhone, is now the de-facto standard. I won’t bang on the products as I don’t consider myself an Apple fanboy, although others may disagree, especially if I ever did an audit of the products I own.
Consider the revolutions (good or bad, you decide) – computing, telephony, music, tablets. An impressive legacy that has had massive impacts on both the creation and consumption of media.
There’ll be lots written about Jobs…but in everything I really liked the post from Brian Lam, ex-editor of Gizmodo who was both friendly and locked horns with Jobs, when his blog covered a pre-release iPhone, lost by an Apple employee.
And for the inspiring side of Steve Jobs, his Stanford commencement speech: