After David DePiano’s stirring tribute Thursday to the late Steve Jobs, I put out the feelers to our entire company to see if other people wanted to share their thoughts. Social media channels exploded around the world when news broke, so surely there were others here who wanted to share their feelings.
We got a variety of responses — some written, some visual — that help illustrate what the former Apple CEO’s legacy has meant here. CTO Tom Daly was even featured on the local news about his thoughts.
As we head into the weekend, enjoy what our Dyners have to say about the passing of Steve Jobs at age 56.
“When I think about Steve Jobs, his attention to detail, his ability to say no when something wasn’t ready and his obsession with making technology work for everyday people really stand out to me. No one has done more to make sure technology such as computers, phones, tablets, etc. were accessible to all of us. Looking back just four years ago, it is quite hard to imagine a world without an iPhone or iPad.
The uses of devices such as these is incredible. You could tell he took genuine pride in how these devices were used to aid those with disabilities, to help those in the medical field provide the best care for patents, for kids to learn, and so much more.His technology vision brought us into the 21st century.
Just about everything we use today was either directly or indirectly influenced by an Apple device that Steve Jobs had his fingerprints on. It is up to the rest of us in the tech industry to make sure this vision is continued.”
– Chris Gonyea
“Surprisingly, I was almost tearful yesterday when I heard about Steve Jobs’ death. When the first pictures came out of him as gaunt, skeletal-like and nearly gone, it was a very emotional response.
Steve Jobs has been a mystery to me for a long time and part of my love for him, or what he is, has been attributed to this. He’s quiet, subdued and mostly non-existent in the press or public space. He’s private and spends time with his family. At the same time from what I’ve learned about him, he’s intensely detail driven, hyper focused on the simplest things like color hues and logo shading. He takes something like Powerpoint and turns it into a masterpiece rather than what it is…Powerpoint.
He’s made things that had no real sex appeal into magnificent beautiful devices in the music and telecom space. Who would have thought that something as simple as a cell phone would be the most demanded and sought after electronic device on the planet?
I have a great respect for Steve, what he’s done for his company and the world. I’m particularly grateful for the way he’s introduced me to technology. Every year I’ve been excited by the “What’s next” and “One more thing” in his presentations and products. He’s captivated me and my imagination and reminded me to stay foolish.”
– Scott Smith
“I have very fond memories of playing Mean 18 with my father and brothers on our trusty Apple IIGS, as well as countless hours of Oregon Trail in elementary/middle school computer class.”
– Tom Denniston
“Random arcade trivia about Steve Jobs: When he worked for Atari he worked on the project for the Breakout arcade machine.
– Dan McCombs
“If there was one thing that defined his success in my mind, it was his ability to ruthlessly cut as much as possible from the user experience until what remained was highly accessible and intuitive. He fought featuritis and won the adoration of millions in the process. His ability to focus the company and products made technology more accessible and less intrusive upon the work it was meant to accomplish. He showed us that how well something works sometimes matters more than how much it can do; that adding features that detract from the experience is almost always a mistake.
In an industry full of people obsessed with building more capable tech, he was far and away the most successful in guiding his teams into building tech that delivered what users actually wanted. From what I’ve read, working for him was supposedly difficult at times because of his propensity to kill projects that weren’t delivering what people wanted. That he needed to do so in the first place should tell all of us something about how we approach building technology.
He built an empire with that understanding. We’ve all seen the results time and time again. His legacy should be that he transformed the way consumer technology is developed from capability oriented to user experience oriented. We can all do these things if we can accept that the user experience is the deliverable, and everything else is a means to that end.
That his products have become so pervasive internally in businesses, where results presumably matter more than a great experience should tell us something about how people get things done, the costs of complexity, and how much barriers to entry matter. It’s a lot like latency, really, in that the limiting factor is usually not how much we can do with what is in front of us, but how quickly we can get what we need in front of us.”
– Amy Linari
“How to begin? How about:
Steve Jobs, you…
– made black turtlenecks cool again.
– never gave up.
– are indirectly responsible for me learning to program… on the Apple IIe in BASIC back in school.
– taught us it’s ok to be fired by the Board from the company you created, because it’s possible to come back and own them all and then lol about it.
– will probably find a way to come back again. You did it at least 3 times at Apple, wouldn’t be surprised if returning from the grave is next on your to-do list.”
– Brian McCall
Finally, Carl Levine put together a small homage on our Dyn stage featuring a 3/1987 vintage M5010 Macintosh SE displaying a “Sad Mac”, Andy Hertzfeld’s book about the creation of the Macintosh and, of course, an apple. (Photo by Alan Ellis)