Apple announced today that Steve Jobs has died. The envelope he kept pushing — the one that had our future tools and toys sealed inside it — is it finally open? Or finally closed …
The first Macintosh changed my writing and professional life, as it did for countless others, enabling new jobs and careers even as it helped grease the skids for the disappearance of others. But before the Mac came along — as the news stories will recount — there were the ugly years, between one whiz-bang career and another. Apple seeded schools with its first generations of computers, until Big Blue IBM took over the personal computer market. Steve was pushed out of Apple, but kept dreaming and building and innovating, after the Lisa years and through the NeXT years, until Apple finally took him back.
And then the fun really began: iPods, iPhones, the iPad. Who knows what else he would have dreamed up for us to want. And love. And believe we need.
I don’t want forget the ugly years, though. There was a time between dreams. How did Steve manage to reinvent himself as more than a visionary? As someone who could lead an organization? And still keep the spirit of play alive?
I wish I could ask. I’d like to know. We all could use some of that.