The Mac touched my life at a young age. At the age of 6, my father andI would go into the computer lab and scan my coloring books in so I could color in my coloring books in using Adobe Photoshop, back beforePhotoshop was a household name. On that same Mac, I made my first newsletter all by myself using Aldus PageMaker at the age of 8. I was hooked.
Years later, after Steve returned to Apple, I remember watching the first Think Different commercial showcasing different innovators who have changed the world. Among the wonderful narration by Richard Dreyfuss and seeing footage of people like Thomas Edison, Amelia Earhart and others, the line that touched me was “people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones that do.” That became my mantra for life.
Fast forward to college. Like other important stages in life, college was a great life lesson in acceptance. Steve helped inspire me to follow my passions. I learned through studying Steve the concept of starting with understanding the vision of something, then figuring out the path to get there. I sat and taught myself how to use HTML5 in the early days of the iPhone. I talked my way into classes like iPhoneDevelopment, and Java, even though I was not an IT student. Stories ofSteve Jobs and his calligraphy classes in college taught me that any class and any experience is a valuable one. I would spend sleepless nights thinking about new technologies, new strategies, new ways to understand why people use the devices they use today. The experience of life is everything, and how we create our future technologies should be about experience.
College was tough for acceptance because few peers in college my vision and motivations to learn. I was alienated. Years after having first heard that think different Apple commercial, I ran into an old”think different” poster on the wall of one of a professor’s offices.It made me think to myself “here’s to the crazy ones.” At that momentI smiled. I had been able to accept that perhaps the very things that could have made me crazy to my peers are precisely what made me successful today.
Looking up to Steve, the other thing he taught me was to always focus on the experience. In a changing time for the world of publishing, he taught me the lesson that he may have learned from people like Henry Ford: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Not all of the answers come from focus groups or asking people or following the trend that has been. Sometimes it is best to step back and try something completely new and learn from everything that hasn’t worked in the past. It is that spirit for innovation and creativity that drives me professionally today.
While he and Apple may be remembered for the Mac, the iPod, the iPhone, iPad, etc. Steve’s role in my life will always have been that figure that taught me it is okay to have passion, dedication and vision. Because if it wasn’t for his role model, there would surely beone less person that is thinking different.