Rest in Peace, Steve…
I’m not one to note the passing of people in this blog, but I will make an exception here.
As you have read in undoubtedly many places, Steve Jobs finally lost his battle with pancreatic cancer yesterday (October 25th). He was just 56 years old.
Steve Jobs was a visionary. He understood tech. But he also understood that tech without users was just silly 1’s and 0’s floating around. And with that he understood that tech needed to be accessible.
That is why he put user experience first. That is why he pushed so hard back in the day to get the Apple ][‘s into schools, taking a loss in some cases on each one sold, knowing that he would make that money back from parents buying the computers for the home. He also knew that if he could hopeless addict the kids in the school, he would guarantee another generation of buyers and fan boys & girls.
He was not a saint by any stretch of the imagination. Some of his early dabblings in electronics and partnerships with Steve Wozniak was to build so-called “Blue Boxes” that allowed unfettered and free access to long distance calling by fooling the system into thinking that the person using the box was a maintenance technician. He was tough to work with. He had his share of failures (see also Lisa, Apple III, etc).
But he got it more than anybody else in tech in the last 30 years.
Without the infiltration of Apple ][‘s into schools, I may never have found the path I eventually went on. So to both Steves (Jobs and Woz) I will be eternally grateful.
Rest in Peace, Steve. You will be missed.