When the iPhone 4 came out on launch day I was standing outside the Apple Store in Newcastle upon Tyne. Just a few years ago, I would have stood outside the flagship store in San Francisco, California.
I live and work in and around Newcastle. I found out about Steve Jobs passing away on the iPhone 4 - a device he created through his passion and perseverance to put a "ding in the universe." A genius, he brought his ideas to life and shared them with us to make our lives easier.
He substituted the status quo of beige for love of design.
That morning, I checked Twitter on my iPhone like I always do before my commute. Twitter was awash with hashtags - tweeting how much Steve positively affected their lives, careers, and ambitions. I cried. I felt stunned. Has the passing of a company CEO ever affected so many people, let alone myself? I never met the man; but what inspired his actions to put a "ding in the universe" through the products he shared with us made him my hero.
I got into computers at an early age. I took them apart and put them back together again. During this time of my life I was a Windows User. I grew up with Windows. But then in 2005, Apple happened. I bought my first MacBook. I was changed. A new world in how computers are conceived through product design opened up to me. Apple made computers simple again by a design principle based around user experience.
But I was already a part of Apple before my first MacBook. I already had an iPod. I loved the simplicity of the iPod. It did exactly what I wanted and nothing more. Sure, some music players had more options, but the iPod focused soley on the ones that mattered to me.
Suddenly, through the magic of business known as as the 'halo effect' I was purchasing my first MacBook. The experience factor grew stronger. I began to feel part of a revolution - the digital music revolution. My iPod, MacBook, and iTunes made the experience so simple, I even paid for my music rather than pirated it.
When's the last time I bought a music CD? It's been years. I just use iTunes on my MacBook, or my iPhone using just my thumb, while on the Metro. What's that song in the bar? I love it. Let me just use Shazam on my iPhone, scan it and instantly launch iTunes to purchase it. Now I use Spotify and offline sync my favourite songs to my iPhone.
Steve Jobs made this all possible - not only giving the companies that make my favourite apps a chance to exist in an industry that is teetering on legacy copyright-patent-infringement-chaos, but inspiring the founders to create their dream companies in the first place.
Thank you, Steve Jobs. You've inspired me through your products. You've inspired me through your passionate perseverance to "ding the universe" in doing what you believe a product should do, and even how a human being should live...
“Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes...the ones who see things differently...they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do."
Written on his MacBook by Alexander Horre, project manager at Thap Limited