By Mohamed AlJunaibi (@maljunaibi)
It was October 5th 2011 and the time was just before 4:00 pm. A few of my friends and I were out looking for a quick place to have coffee in downtown San Francisco. I had been in San Francisco for the past four days attending a large technology conference, “Oracle Open World”. The weather was partially cloudy and a nice breeze welcomed the faces of people walking in the streets.
The city seemed pretty normal and everyone was going about their usual business. I recall flipping through my Android phone and was constantly checking news and twitter feeds when a message popped out with the following text:
AP Flash: Steve Jobs Has Died
We had just entered a coffee shop that was closing at 6 pm. It was the business district on Howard Street and lots of places had already closed. My friends carried along with their orders and I still did not believe it. The news feeds were literally being bombarded with messages confirming the death (with the occasional accusation of a hoax); alas, the news was indeed true.
I simply stopped for a second and stayed quiet. My friends asked what was bothering me and I simply told them: “Steve Jobs is dead.” They did not believe it and I later confirmed the twitter and news feeds already reporting the news. I felt like my heart was heavy and that I had lost a good friend.
Steve Jobs was not my role model nor was he someone I had aspired to become. To me, Jobs was all about determination and making things happen. He took ideas that seemed science fiction and turned them into science fact. There is no denying of the tremendous innovations, the strides in bringing the computer home. Making computers easier to use for everyone was what solidified him and Apple today. Making the computing experience both fun and easy was always a trademark worthy of the Apple name.
He was someone who knew what he wanted. The attention to detail and long hours he would spend in ensuring that the product(s) being developed only made this work all the more rewarding (both financially and emotionally).
I have been critical in the past on some of the ventures Apple had undertaken. I also felt, and still feel to this day, that Apple has changed. Long gone are the days of going against the establishment (IBM) and today Apple has become the establishment. What worries a tech commentator like me is the fact that Apple chose to have a business model that at times intimidates smaller and lesser known names in the market. Views aside, Apple still maintains a significantly large portion of the market share and to their credit, they have continually excelled in ensuring that they do get complete products. People also think that Apple might be one of the key players in revitalising the economy in the current depression. Steve Jobs helped to create an innovation / technology company unlike any known in modern history.
Not since inventions like the motor vehicle or the telephone had we had a man of that stature.
People are now asking on whether another “Steve Jobs” would ever come to existence. Well, we still have other greats in our midst. Bill Gates, Larry Elisson and many other young and talented individuals who are a part of the advancement of technology.
Will they have the glimmer and confidence that Steve Jobs so eloquently possessed? I highly doubt it. Jobs was a rarity. The accumulation of the life lessons he had lived and the continuous search for something better. Jobs was to me more of a philosophical person than a technology driven individual.
His journey with his products and the constant pursuit of something new has made him special. This is what I had admired tremendously from Jobs.
It was a sad way to come to California. On October 6th, we had made a trip to Cupertino California and went to the Apple HQ on One Infinite Loop Street. It was a small way to pay respects to Steve Jobs. It was not the nicest way to leave California that week but we have much of his history with us to learn and inspire ourselves to reach such lengths.
As Steve once said: “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you have not found it yet, keep looking. Do not settle. As with all matters of the heart, you will know when you find it.”
Thank you Steve.
Sail eMagazine’s 20th Issue – November 2011
Here we start – Art of Living 101 – Beyond Inspiration
Blunders of a Wannabe Entrepreneur – Just Another Undergrad – Society of Tomorrow
Too Blunt for Words – To The Point – Words, Observations, and Ramblings
Mohamed enjoys reading literature and political commentary, with a love for Sci-Fi reading and writing. He’s also a big Formula 1 fan, and also heads the Mercedes GP UAE Fan Club based in Abu Dhabi.
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