why i’ll miss steve jobs: he smiled back

this morning i was awoken by my iPhone alarm. i drove to work listening to my iPod in my car, and when i got to work, i alternated between using a Mac Mini, a G4 PowerMac, and an iMac. i watched a clip of a movie on my coworker’s iPad on my lunch break. before i even heard the news of his death, i had already used five devices that would never have existed without the brilliance and determination of steve jobs.

i cried the whole way home. i avoided driving past infinite loop, even though it is on my way home. i listened to talk radio, to voices of people who worked with steve and were touched by him. looking in my rearview mirror, i saw a huge rainbow stretching across the west valley behind me, right over cupertino. so sappy and hilarious.

i did not officially meet steve jobs–he never knew my name, but i did occasionally get emails from him (along with the 20,000+ other apple employees around the world) and he inspired me long before–and after–i was an apple employee. i have been using apple computers since i was five years old: my elementary school was one of those in the south bay that had received apple computers as a gift from the company. we used them to play math blaster and oregon trail.

and i saw him one day at apple headquarters. i was there for training with a group of coworkers, and i saw steve and jonny ive in caffe macs. as i was walking out of the building, he and jonny were walking in. i looked at steve and smiled (something i do not do–i am not one who smiles in general). steve looked right back at me, and without an ounce of hesitation, grinned back at me widely.

he was a billionaire, the CEO of a company that is worth more than the country where it was founded, but he was still a guy that smiled back when you smiled at him. and he was a gentleman: he held the door for my friend maryam on her first day of work at apple.

he formed the company that makes the machines that all your favourite movies and music are made with. his standards pushed designers and engineers away from what was easy, and to do what was right. and that company that he helped form? they employ the most amazing people i have ever met. i made lifelong friends, had amazing experiences, and had the time of my life at apple.

thank you, steve. you were one of the crazy ones.

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2 thoughts on “why i’ll miss steve jobs: he smiled back

  1. How wonderful to have had such a basic, human experience with him. Something that made a huge difference for you–the simple act of smiling back–and knowing that he was still down to earth enough to have that impact on everyone he met.

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