He He made my CD collection relevant again: After several years of replacing the album collection (do you remember 8 tracks )and buying many an album just to get the single, Steve unlocked all my songs and did truly allow you to carry them all in your pocket. I still chuckle when seeing the ads in the in-flight magazine for the wall units to house your entire CD collection. While I could not and will not dedicate that area to storage, I can safely say that all my CDs are now backed up in the cloud (well actually they are in a bunch of boxes in the attic but that counts right?) and some are making great coasters along with the massive AOL CD collection accumulated over the years. The album cover art is not going to waste. So I now refer to them as Certificates of Deposit vs Compact Disks.
2) He made me fall in love again with music: Due to the above mentioned point, buying CDs had become a hassle. Now I was free to roam not only through the decades to find songs I remember growing up,it allowed me to branch out into new genres I would never have had a chance to explore, especially when the last of the CD stores who let you listen to a CD before you purchased died. While YouTube may have kept the music alive, I fear that Don Mclean may have been right and it might have been another day the music died without Steve. And I still find myself turning up certain songs on the ipod just to listen to the rifts the guy playing bass is laying down in the background. I never could do that with a CD.
3) Steve made being a middle aged guy with short graying hair and day old beard cool again: Long before Steve adopted it, some of us already did the day old beard (and even before Bret Favre made it part of his repertoire), we had the greying, salt and pepper coloring and had started cutting it real close and with poor eyesight but not brave enough to do lasik. Steve brought the whole look together with the black turtle neck which I find is an enjoyable ensemble on a chilly casual Friday. Really glad he got away from the bowties ‘cause I could just never see wearing one of those except with a tux. Now on those Fridays as I don the levis and tennis shoes, I will try to channel Steve for at least a couple of hours of close scrutiny and creativity on the projects that I am working on and say WWSD?.
4) UI is Sexy and Easy: I fully realized what he had accomplished when my three year old woke up at 1:30 am upon my return from Dreamforce,and asked me upon entering his room ….“Dad,did you bring the ipad back?” Apparently I am no longer allowed to remove the device from the premise. And during a potting training exercise two weeks later, he requested the ipad to help him relax. Not understanding but being supportive, I obliged, but kept trying to correct him when he would hit the ipod icon vs Thomas the Train. After several repeats of this I was scolded by him when he said “I want to listen to Michele”. Unbeknownst to me and without any training, my young lad had not only discovered the ipod functionality and my collection of songs but, had also discovered the wonderful songstress Michele Branch. So now when he wants to relax, he requests the ipad to fire up his favorite song. No user manual, no tutorial, just a 3 year olds exploration of the UI.
5) Smartphones become real: Having handled the marketing for the original Nokia 9000 smartphone and some of the earliest work with cameras in phones (Bob Twitchell, you were both ahead of your time and at the wrong company), it still amazes me to see where the devices are today. Oh, I am old enough that I remember the BellSouth Simon and while at Motorola, we worked on the module to make the Apple Newton wireless. Seeing what we have today is just amazing compared to what everyone was oozing over just a few years ago when the Razor was the must have to be seen with device. Please.
6) Disrupting industries: As previously mentioned, Steve disrupted two major industries long stuck in an age of decline. So what other industry would I like to see or hope Steve left something behind. Well, It would be cool to see what Apple Air would be like as that sorely needs a User Experience makeover, but putting your name on planes, trains and other things as already been done before by Sir Richard without much movement. So, I will add to my wish list that I really hope AppleTV becomes a true experience in the near future. A lot of the pieces are already in place, which sounds eerily similar to the music and phone scenarios. So maybe in a year or two, at an Apple event, will Tim play a video that Steve recorded in the past to play in the future with one of those openings “If you are watching this I am no longer with you, but I have left you with this”. Wouldn’t it be so cool if he kept announcing products long into the future.
7) And I want to leave you with just one more thing….enough said.