I picked up the Steve Jobs biography last week at Costco and have been a bookworm for the last few days. It is a long read, 600+ pages of small print about a man that was anything but small. I think it is interesting how similar that man was to Mozart, Picasso, and Einstein... genius and maniac at the same time. He seriously had some crazy in him, and was a perfectionist if there ever was one. I am in the first part of the book where Steve is building the company, and getting all of his resources in order. It discusses all his employees, the engineers he worked with, Steve Wozniak, and many others along the way that helped him out immensely. He was so mean to all of them!!! but he got stuff done. he had a passion about his work that earned him 256 million by the time he was 25 years old. He is an idol to me, but I also recognize that a tyrant running a company isn't always good either. More to come in future posts on this book, cause it is awesome.
_I would say there have not been too many moments in my life when I remember exactly where I was, exactly what I was doing, when news came to me. A few off the top of my head would be when I found out my aunt and uncle were killed in a horrific car accident, another was obviously the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers on 9-11-2001. One specific event that will always be a visual memory in my head was when I heard that the CEO of Apple Computers was Dead at age 56.
I was sitting on my bed, rolling through some stuff on Facebook when I was intrigued by a post I saw from 30 Seconds To Mars' Jared Leto posted. It said something like, "We will miss you Steve..." Now unfortunately, I don't personally know all of Jared's cronies (wouldn't that be cool!) so I didn't know if this was a personal friend or someone famous. After about 20 seconds of research online, it was very apparent who he was talking about... my modern idol, Steve Jobs.
Being a Disc-Jockey and promoter in the musical world, I have always been a fan of Apple Products. Every item I DJ with I wish worked as well as my Apple MacBook Pro, iPhone, iPod and iPad. I wish every part of my realm could be an Apple product, because to be brutally honest, I AM IN LOVE WITH APPLE!!! They make the best computers available, their operating system is right on the money, and the products I do purchase last me for years and years and years. Best of all: They Just Work!!!
Being an entrepreneur, I have always admired Steve and all he represented in the world of marketing and business. He seemed to take any product or idea he was representing and help it to catch fire. Steve Jobs revolutionized every company he stepped into, even after being kicked out of a company he had built out of his garage a few years earlier. NeXT Computers, Pixar, and a few other companies gave him all the experience, know-how and direction to usher in one of the biggest underdog upsets that the world has ever seen. And how did he accomplish this? One Word: iPod. It was a word Apple invented, and it is one that has gained worldwide acceptance in almost every spoken language used. It is the ability to have thousands of artists, albums, and songs in one's pocket, and we couldn't have anyone else to blame but Steve Jobs himself.
I remember the era with exactness. There were so many mp3 players popping up all over, and all between $100 - $200. Many of them boasted capacities of 128mb, 256mb, and the big one's pushing 512mb-1gb. Those were the top of the line models... and then there was that big, bulky brick that near-bankrupt Apple Computer Company was pushing. Most of us didn't even know that the company was still around making stuff. All we really knew about them was they didn't run most of the software that Windows could, and that Bill Gates stole the other guy's idea and made lots of money off it. But when we saw the iPod, priced reasonably higher around $250, we took a second look at it. It's design was flawless, clean, and crisp. It's aroma of something trendy, cool, and something that I wanted, unknown to myself why. When I found out how much music that thing held, it was MIND-BOGGLING!!! 20 GB was one of the first models... 20 GIGABYTES!!! You are telling me for around $100 more than a normal mp3 player that I could have 20 GB of music in my pocket??? That was unbelievable.
And thus began the Apple Revolution...
Mind you that in those times, most people coined the phrase "Who even HAS 20 GB of music? That's like every Compact Disc I own, or will ever own." Unless you, of course, were a DJ. I knew DJ's that condensed their entire music collection onto 1, 2 or more of those devices. In the last decade, digital music has overtaken the world at a rate that has never been seen before. Companies like Napster and LimeWire lead the revolution of file-sharing, with iTunes taking over as the main place to purchase music. Companies that had decent followings like Rhapsody and RealPlayer suddenly found themselves being passed up by that Apple Computer Company. People began ripping all of their CD's and putting them on the computers, laptops, and music players. The time of playing vinyls in your front room, buying new needles, and looking for the 40 second shock-proof Disc-Man were soon closing in on themselves.
You think about 20 GB of music today, and that is equivalent to the average 12-16 year old American's music collection... If they lived under a rock! Most people have a few hundred gigs of music occupying their hard drives, and if you work in the industry, or are an avid music listener, you probably have a terabyte or two. It is UNFATHOMABLE the amount of media we expose ourselves to these days, and it is because of this that we look to someone like Steve as such an innovator.
Now, many people saw music and computers, and obviously put all the pieces together: Digital Media. It was going to happen, and Steve Jobs was just the person who benefitted from it. If it wasn't him, it would have been someone else.... While I completely support the notion of Steve Jobs being an Innovator and a Visionary that ushered in the Digital Age, I will digress and venture onto this playing field for a moment. If Computers and Digital Media were a Chemical Reaction that was bound to occur, I look at Steve Jobs and Apple Computers as a Catalyst, forcing the two reactants together at a rate that would never occurred with any other scenario. The product of this reaction was all the products, services, and happiness we enjoy from living in this digital age.
While many of those "Products" spawned from Apple's Headquarters specifically, I can honestly say that without this God Among Men, we would not be where we are today as a Society and as a Human Civilization without the vision, dedication, and innovation of the man we know as Steve Jobs. I fully endorse Apple's Products, and I will always remember the personal benefit that this man gave to me. I honor him by using his products everyday! (I think I might have a physical heart attack if something happened to my ability to use an iPhone) I honor him by supporting the Legacy he built. (DJ-ing, promoting music, entrepreneurship, communicating, supporting internet rights) I honor him everyday by pushing the limits of the world around me, and knowing that someday, after much effort and greatness, someday, I will make a difference in this world. God Bless the man who brought us Apple Computers. You will be missed Steve...
Brady is Music.