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Rest in Peace Steve Jobs

Steven Paul Jobs, 1955-2011My son Alex rang me this morning from University.  Not such a strange sounding event perhaps, but this was 1am and it is the first time he has rung me since he started his freshman year a couple of weeks ago.  Up to that point, he had been fiercely guarding his new found independence and I had always initiated any calls or the few flurries of messages we had on social networks.  Given the circumstances, my mind kicked into parent-facing-imminent-emergency mode.  However, what he had rung to tell me was that Steve Jobs had died. 

That Alex thought this warranted a phone call is just a small personal testament to the significance of the Steve Jobs.  Alex had spotted the news from a DJ he follows, by the time I got to Tweetdeck the stream was full of condolences.  The people I follow come from the disparate areas of filmmaking, photography and business intelligence but there was only one topic.

I am not a long-term Apple fanboy.  My formative years were in an IBM “shop”.  Hell, I even used OS/2 for a while.  It was just a few years ago when I visited my first Apple shop in the US and played with the original iPhone.  It coincided with a growing weariness with the constant tinkering I had to do with my custom built PCs.  Even then it took a frustrating episode with an LG touch phone for me to take the plunge and dump my long-term carrier Vodafone just so I could get an iPhone 3G.  That was followed by a Macbook Pro, then an iMac, then a Mac Pro and so on.  I have now fully embraced the Apple eco-system an I am very happy here inside the walls that Steve built.

What is unique is the holistic nature of the ecosystem and the quality of its design in hardware, software and retail.  I don’t think there is much doubt about how much that is due to the vision and determination that Steve Jobs possessed.  There are many talented people who contribute to that success but the leadership and drive came from Steve.  It is the loss of this leadership which I believe has affected so many people today.  In few fields of endeavour has such leadership been so apparent or so successful nor did it falter or fail near the end - Steve Jobs has left us still at the height of his powers and at the peak of his commercial success.

Steve Jobs was a private man who valued his family as well as the company he will be forever be synonymous with.  So it is his family and his colleagues that my thoughts will be with today.

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