Thank you Mr. Jobs, a personal story
I didn’t want to write a post about Steve after his passing, I felt it wasn’t appropriate. The web was —and still is— talking about him, writing thank-you posts, eulogies, opinions and all. Yet, here I am writing
about for Steve; a thank you through a brief story of mine.
Since a kid I was hooked with computers. The first I used was a Compaq laptop, black-and-white screen running Windows 95. On the third grade I wrote my first website, on the fourth I cracked the password my dad entered for my PC because I was spending kind of much time messing with it. I remember seeing an ad with the first iMac, I loved the computer — I didn’t know what it was, what even Apple was. And only two years ago switched to a Macbook Air and a 27″ iMac (last summer).
This post though is not about me. This post is about a story involving Mike, one of my best friends and his new iPhone. Mike, and the majority of my buddies —except two of them— was never a tech savvy guy. While I was on the internets since 6, he only discovered it around 14. He never owned an iPhone or iPod before. He had a clunky PC (hopefully he has a new awesome Toshiba laptop now) and your typical Sony Ericsson cellphone.
Anyhow, he just got a new 8GB iPhone 4. He felt he didn’t need a 4S, unfortunately there wasn’t any stock 16GB iPhone 4 left so he went with the 8GB version — for which he is absolutely happy about. Long story short, we arranged a Skype call, he’s in Thessaloniki, I’m in Vienna, to explain him how to download apps, what iCloud is, how to use the phone, what iMessages, FaceTime and Viber are, the iTunes Sync thing, the Remote and many more cool stuff. Remember: he is not a geek, an enthusiast or whatever — just your plain typical user with a new iPhone which he only knew the basics through using our friends’ and mine iPhones before.
The first great thing about this story is that explaining him all that stuff was easy. iOS, the concept, apps, iCloud/Messages/et al were all understandable. He was stoked with iMessages, FaceTime and Skype. The great thing about him is that with the new iPhone he also got a data plan with his carrier.
A couple of days pass, and today while entering the subway I received a Viber call from him. I swiped to answer the call and after the usual chit-chat he said to me: “Man, this is awesome. I’m with 3G, downtown or wherever else I’d wanted to be, and I can call you, in an another country, and it doesn’t matter where you are, you have 3G too and you can answer my call and we can talk and communicate freely with no roaming or whatsoever costs, be it voice or text, depending only on our phones, this is so awesome.”
And then came a moment of clarity. I understood 100% what Steve Jobs was all about. Not that I didn’t before but now I had a living example right from my life. Steve made what no other could do. Technology for the masses. And I’m completely thankful for that to him. See, before using Mac OS X I was a Windows user, then switched for 3+ years to Linux and for a little while back again to Windows. But Apple and its products made finally sense.
It’s not about hardware anymore; having the fastest CPU or the best GPU. Technology alone is not enough. The end-user wanted something that simply works. People didn’t know that, Apple made it clear. And don’t get me wrong: hacking, Linux, choices, customization and all the rest are darn good things — I don’t ditch them, I like them, It’s simply not what the end-user wants.
So after all this yada yada: Thank you, Steven Paul Jobs.