It’s funny. By nature I’m extremely introverted. I would never consider myself a “people person”. And yet, tonight I’ve realized that no matter what we do, it’s always about how we interact with each other. Take any task, any object, and its ultimate purpose is to enable people to relate to each other.
So many people lose sight of that. We focus on the process, and the faces and bodies just blur into the background. And then some event comes out of the blue and somehow, someway, makes you see things differently. Sometimes you have to look at your own everyday world through someone else’s eyes to realize how amazing it is.
When I look at a computer, I see a tool that lets people save and share the most important moments in their lives. I see a toy that lets people enjoy themselves, their surroundings, and their friends. I see an instrument that lets them be more productive at work and at home, so they can do more things with the people who are important to them.
Every day I sit at a table, casually chatting with people young and old, novice and experienced, looking to find new ways to realize some dream. Usually it’s a small one, at least to an outsider, but its impact is still enormous. Sharing vacation photos with family. Sending holiday greetings. Writing a journal. Perfecting a résumé. There are ways we can accomplish these things today that were almost inconceivable thirty years ago. And I help people realize those dreams.
No words can really describe—or even summarize—the impact Steve Jobs has had on the world. The best way to fathom his impact is just to take a look around you. Think about how technology affects your world, your family, your daily routine. He didn’t invent the Macintosh, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad on his own. But he had the vision to see things that were thought impossible, the insight to recognize what’s important (and what’s not), and the tenacity to make them happen, even when everyone around you is telling you that you’re wrong.
It’s been my privilege to help others become a part of his vision. In Steve Jobs’s world, I am a people person. I get to help people connect with everyone around them.
I can think of no better words than Steve’s own: “Here’s to the crazy ones.”
A few other tidbits that have stood out for me as everyone (people!) share their thoughts:
Mike Matas shared Steve’s first experience with Photo Booth. The expressions on his face reveal that even Steve could still be amazed by technology.
Walt Mossberg got to know Steve a little more personally than most of us. Everyone can talk about Steve’s accomplishments, but this article is more about Steve in some private moments.
People may claim that Steve was all about business, and technology is just a means to make money. I think that these memorials prove otherwise. These are for a man who changed us all.
Perhaps the most insightful of all, Steve’s 2005 Stanford commencement address.