Steve Jobs: Genius

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’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… 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.- Steve Jobs

I’m writing this in my “good” notebook. It’s a birthday present from my friend, and I decided to use it for only the pieces that I’d written and edited in one of my messier reporter’s notebooks. But in the spirit of Steve Jobs, I’m drawing outside the lines for a change.

October 23, 2001.

The first generation iPod was released in the U.S. A white rectangular device, slightly bigger than a deck of cards. At this time, Generation Y had a few years under our belts with Napster, and the beauty of the mp3. Back then, we would load our songs on CD-Rs (CD-RWs if we were lucky, we could reuse those) and burn music to play on our discman’s. For a music-phile and techie, the opportunity to carry my entire library of music around in my pocket was like a geek’s greatest Christmas wish. And Steve Jobs kept Christmas coming year-round, with every product release.

For just a few days shy of a complete decade, Jobs has revolutionized every aspect of communication, even the way we hold a book. Sleek. Smart. Innovative. He made phone services irrelevant, as users choose to follow the companies that support the iPhone. He made technological terms vernacular: track wheel, touch screen, device sync, computer animated movies, the iconic lower case “i.”

On top of incredible device after incredible device, he never ceased to inspire with the most effective mode of communication: words. He was a mentor to Mark Zuckerberg, and inspired college students all over the world to think big and think great. And even a little crazy. The crazier the thought, the greater the impact.

Selfishly, I ignored Jobs’ illness. He’d fight it and stay at Apple. He’s a little weak, but he’ll still hold a conference for the new iPhone. He’s ok. I wanted the power of his great mind to simply make the cancer irrelevant.

As his frail body no longer suffers, his great mind does live on– in a completely changed technological space. Where kids will only know touch screens, and have bedtime stories read to them on iPads. In the silver apple imprinted in our minds and our devices.

Life lived brilliantly.

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