Steve Jobs 1955-2011

This evening, I posted this on my social media outlets:

A journalist's tools are vital to his or her success. The most prominent tool of this journalist was one forged from the ideas of a visionary. Thank you, Steve Jobs, for making the work of a lot of us in the working press – myself included – much easier today. Godspeed, Mr. Jobs.

The photo above may not be the best. Perhaps it was a coda to a great visionary whose work touches many of us. The way we create documents, spreadsheets, presentations and distill digital images are run through machines with distinct and intelligent design. This design philosophy was translated onto much more portable devices – usually ones that start with a lower case "i." Devices that made music, television, film and ideas easily attainable and more relevant. A phone that was smarter and more intuitive than anything. A tablet device – once envisioned by Gene Roddenberry for a successful entertainment franchise – that made kicking back a joy.

Steve Jobs was a CEO. An executive with a portfolio envious of those of us coming up in the world. What he has done was dedicate his life to make our lives easier. This began from his association with Steve Wozniak at Hewlett-Packard where the two created a simple computer that was about the size of a drawer. A single spark made Jobs' hometown the beacon for an industry that simply exploded in the Apple II's wake. Jobs' hands were also at Pixar, where the world of animated long-form motion pictures took on the feel of one of his own products.

So what if many of his ideas never made it into my possession. It is the concept that has influenced that way I have done this and other related work over the past two decades. I could not envision working in this field without my MacBook, using iPhoto to frame my photography, or listening to my iPod Shuffle on non-car commutes.

It is best to remember Steve Jobs by doing something very simple: Saying "thank you." Thank you for making our lives simpler than before.

My thoughts are with the Jobs' family and all of the men and women at Apple as well.

Photo by Randy Stern

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