Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thoughts On Steve Jobs' Passing

My Memories of Steve Jobs

It is hard to believe Steve Jobs now belongs to the ages!?! Abraham Lincoln profoundly summed it up best when he said "And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."

Steve Jobs was a fascinating man. Like many people, I owe him and the other original founders of Apple a debt of gratitude. When I was 16 years old, in 1984, I purchased the original Mac the first day it was available on January 24, 1984. At the time there was nothing like it. Kind of like the first iPhone or iPad.

I began working with computers when I was 12 years old. For decades I was frustrated with computers in general, and thought their progress was moving way too slowly. It was clear to me that the people who were at the helm of computing were engineers and greedy businessmen.

I realized long ago, that what was missing from computing was design process. I decided in 2000 to commit myself to trying to help computing live up to its full potential, and thus I started BulletTrain.

I had the chance to spend some time with Steve Jobs, at Apple, speaking about the future of computers. In 2005 Steve and I spoke in detail about forming a strategic partnership between BulletTrain and Apple. I showed Steve some advanced prototypes I had designed for an Apple phone that was also a full-screen computer. My design had a camera on the front and on the back and in many ways resembled the iPhone of today.

I also showed Steve Jobs a concept I had for an Apple tablet that was remarkably similar to the iPad. My design has a leg on the back of it, very similar to the BulletTrain MagicStand, because I realized that in order for a tablet form-factor to be the best it could be, it would need to be able to compete with a Laptop, which did the require the end user to hold it up in their hands.

I also showed Steve a precursor to our current BulletTrain eXpress Keyboard Platform. I argued the ultimate desktop keyboard form-factor was a laptop keyboard form-factor, because it had built-in wrist wrests and thus represented the most ergonomic keyboard. I also argued that having a redundant set of numeric keys on a desktop keyboard was unnecessary, and that most people who used laptops never missed them. We argued back and forth and I told him I thought the mouse was stupid because it represented a false economy of motion.

I also showed Steve my BulletTrain WebTop concept which was and is remarkably similar to iCloud.

Steve Jobs had some fascinating ideas about the future and an equally interesting sense of design. He was a superb showman, and very deeply inspired people with his passion, while he also entertained them with his sense of humor.

I'll never forget during his 2007 Keynote presentation, when he first showed off the iPhone, calling Starbuck's on the iPhone and saying "Yes. I'd like to order 4000 lattes to go please." Whenever I think about that, it makes me laugh ;-)

In the final analysis, Steve Jobs left behind an amazing legacy and company. Steve Jobs inspired many people with his passion and woke-up the world to the power of simplicity and quality. Steve Jobs helped pave the way to a brighter digital future for all of humanity. I remain confident in Apple's future and more importantly, I am extremely excited to follow in Steve Jobs footsteps.

I believe the digital revolution is really just getting under way, and not only is the best yet to come, but speaking for the BulletTrain team, we plan and are excited to participate significantly in delivering the true and full potential of the digital promise. I believe the BulletTrain slogan of Friction-Free Computing, perfectly sums up our goal.

Here's To The Crazy Ones
With Steve Jobs Narrating

Here is a rare video of The Original 1997 Apple Think Different Video, but with Steve Jobs narrating.

"Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify them. But the one thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do." –Apple

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