This morning as my fiance left, and the dawn was breaking here in coastal Georgia, I got into the shower, tears welling up as I kept coming back to the fact that Steve Jobs has left this earth.
How silly is that? I never met him.
But, Jobs was different. He made the things important to me personal.
Jobs went to Reed College and then dropped out. After I returned from Japan I went to Reed College for math for a semester in my senior year of high school, and the professor indicated it would be best that I not attend the second semester. I always felt a kinship with Jobs, that if he could succeed in life despite failing at a school like that, then I would be alright too. He made his success personal to me.
Jobs was one of the few executives public about his vegetarianism. As a vegetarian for over ten years now, I always felt a sense of pride that someone so admired would be on “my side.” Steve Jobs was able to transcend those feelings that I struggle with, that separateness. And, that is exactly why he was admired by so many people, that he never made exclusivity a part of his identity, nothing about his way had you choose being with him or against him. His reality for the world was inclusive; we were all welcome, and that is why his death is so personal.
Personal computing is defined by Wikipedia as a computer “useful for individuals … operated directly by an end-user with no intervening computer operator” as opposed to a mainframe computer which ”… require(s) a full-time staff to operate efficiently.” I say that Steve Jobs reinvented the term “personal computer,” by making computers personal. And, I mean, he made computers intimate. Ask anyone about their computer, and people who own Macs love them as a part of themselves. Steve Jobs makes my mom feel smart when she uses her computer, and that is deeply, deeply personal to me.
You will be missed.