My thoughts on Steve in the Guardian

Since I’ve written about Apple for the Guardian in the past, they reached out and asked if I would again.

It’s now live on their site, and I wanted to point you at it and include a copy of what I wrote here:

Try to imagine today’s society if Steve didn’t exist. Can you? The Apple II. the Macintosh. The mouse. Making computers accessible to non-technical people in general. Reinventing the music industry with iPod and iTunes, over the express wishes of the industry. Beginning a similar reinvention of film and video. Revitalising animation with Pixar. Reinventing the personal communication industry with the iPhone. And most recently the iPad. He was a fundamental part of so many societal changes, any one of which would make most people’s careers.

I am who I am today because of Steve, through the companies and the products and the technologies he fostered; more importantly, because of the people he brought in and mentored who turned into people that mentored me. Because of the thinking and attitudes he promoted and inoculated that became key parts of what I’ve become. I’m the person I am because of Steve and what he did, the opportunities he created, and the attitudes and expectations he baked into those around him.

I almost ran over Steve once outside of Infinite Loop 1 as I was coming in for a meeting and he popped into the street without really looking, [iPod division chief] Jon Rubinstein and [iTunes chief] Eddy Cue in tow. He almost returned the favour once as he drove in to work as I was in the same crosswalk.

Steve could be a tough and very intimidating person, but as much as he demanded of others, he demanded more of himself. He was involved in one of my projects at Apple, and I used to watch the team scramble as Steve reviewed ad copy hours before a launch and mark up changes. He was that involved in the details, and he was always right.

Now Steve has left us, but his memory and his legacy live on, and they will continue to drive and shape the world we live in for years to come. Nobody can replace Steve Jobs – he was unique. Each of us can choose to do something to fill a small part of the void he’s left. If we do, we will help fulfil the legacy he started in trying to make the world better for all of us. I am a better person for having lived under his influence, and I can never pay that back, but I can try to carry that forward in his