Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Thank You Steve!

In the early 80's I learned to write computer software. I really enjoyed writing software. Then in January of 1984, I touched a mouse on a Macintosh and my world changed. I fell in love with the idea of creating amazing software—code that could change the world.

I ordered my Mac 128K as soon as I could qualify for an Apple credit card.

What Steve Jobs has now—and has always had—is the ability to see potential where so many of us cannot. He wasn't afraid to fly in the face of convention and build something that no one asked for. There was no market demand for an appliance computer. The original Mac was as disruptive as the iPad is today, only the scope of technology was much smaller.

I've probably read too much about Steve Jobs and spent too much time thinking about what he did right and wrong—especially in the early days of Apple—but his tenures as CEO of Apple, NeXT and Pixar have forever changed my world. I have learned from his flaws as well as his successes.

Would I have fallen in love with designing software if I spent years writing command line driven apps? What would the graphical revolution have looked if it was built by people who weren't visionaries? How many years later would Apple-driven leaps in technology have taken?

I honestly don't want to know.

Thank you Steve being brave enough to say no to "good enough" and the vision to show us what's possible. Thank you for making computers fun and exciting. Thank you for putting a huge dent in my universe. May you win the battle over your illness and live to see many generations of breath-taking products built on your vision.


A Familiar Place

I have been here before. This place is familiar to me. Here is where the journey becomes steep, rocky and overgrown with vegetation. To my right is a well-worn path leading gently downhill. The smooth and packed soil looks easy on my legs, but I also know the destination. It's a place of sorrow and regret that saps energy from my soul.

After a moment of weakness, my gaze returns forward as I square my shoulders and seek a foothold. The first few steps cause the most strain, but this decision eases the pain and with every step my energy and confidence grows.

I have been here before and understand its temptations. It lies and deceives by offering a "better" choice but, at least this day, I will not fall for its trickery.

I have been here before and will be here again.