I got the news from my daughter at college...a simple text message on my iPhone. Even though the news was expected, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, was dead.
As I began to read the tweets, posts, and articles about Steve Jobs, I thought back to 1985...Barry and I were living the DINK lifestyle (dual income, no kids). He worked at Cincinnati Milacron and I taught public school. Our days were predictable; money was available...and then, everything changed.
Barry brought home our first computer...a Mac. He apologized for buying something so unfamiliar and so different from what he had used at work; however, he explained how user-friendly the Apple computer was and how I'd learn everything I needed to know in just a few days. With that, off we went into the world of entrepreneurship...first in the homebuilding business and most recently, adding a second business in fresh produce. We couldn't have done it without our Apple and Mac products...and maybe we couldn't have done it without the inspiration of Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs is credited with all kinds of technological innovations. What's sometimes overlooked is his role as a model for everyone interested in business. He surrounded himself with good people, encouraged innovation, stayed true to his goals, and dared to dream. I have no idea how influential Steve Jobs was on a daily basis at Apple, but I do know the man could sell and was a master at marketing. Every time he took the stage to announce a new product, I wanted that product...whether I needed it or not. I admired his style, relaxed yet so sophisticated. I admired his communication skills and the simplicity of his products...and I even admired the packaging of the products.
And "one more thing"...
Prior to the Mac revolution, anyone in business was portrayed in the vein of Ward Cleaver...straight, boring, and representative of "the establishment." Thanks to Steve Jobs, it's now cool to be in business.
P.S. I'm a Mac.