Hands up who writes on an Apple computer? Hands up who types each tentative sentence knowing that this computer will handle their precious words with care, right their every wrong at the touch of a key, and eventually, whiz their hard work out there into the abyss for other people to enjoy?
Such is the legacy Steve Jobs leaves us with today. It’s hard not to think of him here at the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival, (where I’m currently volunteering) for it’s this man, this entrepreneur who pioneered the way we live, work, write and communicate today.
At age 56, he’s gone to a place that even the greatest, most complex app in the world couldn’t hope to convey, but he’s left behind a very clear path for fellow dreamers. If you can imagine, you can create, and you too can change the world.
Steve Jobs made it his mission to design computers for those more interested in what technology could do, rather than how it was currently done. He marched on behalf of the “creatives”; those less bothered by dull grey spreadsheets and pie charts, those who get goosebumps at the thought of a life in full-multi-pixel colour, where their creations dance and sing and fly from the mind to the digital page because the page itself is alive and bright and welcoming, like home.
Pancreatic cancer has stolen this icon, but Steve’s legacy will live forever in the gadgets we touch, swipe and talk to. He steered us away from floppy disks, CDs and brick-like cellphones and into an age of skinny, sexy portable music players (iPods), the first legal and truly successful method of selling music online (iTunes) and revolutionized the way we interact with our friends, family and the world via a mobile phone (iPhones). The iPad too, means creatives can write, compose, edit and share on the move, any time, anywhere. Wherever we are, there too are our creations. Steve understood what we wanted, before we even knew what that was.
Thanks to this man, writers and readers everywhere have a new lease of life. And a new reason to dream. If a 21-year-old college-dropout can lead a company to multimillion-dollar success in the space of five years, there’s no reason on earth not to believe our own work, creativity and imagination can’t take us anywhere we might like to go. With an Apple product in hand, of course.
RIP Steve Jobs.