My Bond with Apple: A thank you to Steve Jobs. (a repost to mark his passing)

Just moments ago, the world learned of the passing of Steve Jobs.

His was a life which made so many others, far better for his genius. 

I can think of no better way to pay homage to this man than by re-posting this inaguaral article written by Rocky McGredy for 5 Blogs Before Lunch, just over a month ago. Rocky was one of millions touched by Steve Jobs in a rich and meaningful way, and he created a wonderful love note to Jobs. Thank you Rocky, and thank you Steve.

This is a guest post by Rocky McGredy. Rocky is a new voice on 5 Blogs Before Lunch who you'll be seeing, hearing and reading a lot of in the future. This is his first post for us.

As we all know already, the CEO of what may be the most influential company of the 21st century (that’s right, I’m calling it now) has resigned. Steve Jobs is the entrepreneurial spirit behind Apple Inc. and Pixar Animation, but aside from that he is iconic. I truly believe that you would have to be living under a rock to miss the slim, black-turtlenecked father of the world’s most recognizable brand.

Apple technology has revolutionized an industry with their easy-to-use consumer electronics. Oh, and its “iProducts” are undeniably sleek and sexy, too. The last time I checked, there wasn’t a line spanning 10 city blocks for the hottest Motorola product.  Ask your kids what “Apple” means to them, and I guarantee you they’ll say “iPad” before the fruit that grows on trees.

It’s undeniable that Jobs’ efforts have shaped an entire industry. I mean, let’s be honest, was it really a coincidence that so many phones with a capacitive touch display have been released since 2005? I think not. But technology isn’t the only pie that Stevey Boy has stuck his fingers in. If it wasn’t for his endeavors in 1986, I probably would have never had the chance to bawl my eyes out to “Toy Story 3,” either. I haven’t a single doubt in my mind that Steve Jobs was a symbol of modern industry, but aside from that he was a figure in my life.

I know this isn’t “the death of Steve Jobs”. So, I won’t speculate like many have; but in a position like mine, a situation like this makes me panic about my future. It may sound cheesy, but Apple is a company that I have come to rely upon. Their successes in the past, and their growth towards a brighter future gives me a tangible reason to trust that change is for the better. Progress is a beautiful thing. I know that it’s horribly contradictory, but I’ve been conditioned to feel this way.

Even as a kid, Apple computers held a significant importance in my household. In my early sentient years, I remember learning KidPix and HyperCard on vintage PowerPC computers. My father was a former Apple employee, but a fan nonetheless. Every few years, a new Macintosh would mysteriously appear on the desktop in the living room. My dad arrived at the front door with a brand new green iMac the year it was introduced to the market. It was less than a month until Christmas, but he couldn’t wait to surprise us. Every iMac came with a copy of “A Bug’s Life” on DVD to be watched on the computer. My father and I formed a strong bond over Pixar’s animation, and went to see every subsequent Pixar movie in theaters together.

My father passed away the year “Finding Nemo” opened in theaters. We had plans to see it after our vacation in Tahoe but he never made it home from the trip. I vividly remember arguing over who got my dad’s G4 titanium Powerbook after he passed; that was how strongly it represented him.

Today, I have a tattoo on my chest of the Pixar lamps. On the larger lamp, in tiny text, are my father’s initials. The bulb is burnt out. My initials are on the smaller lamp as well. In the center of the iconic red yellow and blue ball, instead of a star, is an Apple. The tattoo is representative of the bond I will always share with my father, and what better to represent that bond than Pixar and Apple?

Apple and Pixar have been so influential to my family and me; that my sister will argue endlessly with her husband over which is the superior computer. My brother has slowly converted most of the people in his company to Macintosh desktops, and four out of five of my family members use iPhones. Five out of five of us use Apple computers. I still go to see every Pixar movie in theaters (yes, even “Cars 2”) and own every feature and short on either DVD or Blu-ray. Most importantly, the empires that Jobs has constructed have made me a firm believer in change and future good. As an icon, Steve Jobs has influenced me to strive towards a balanced zen life style. He’s also taught me that there’s no such thing as too much minimalism if it’s approached correctly. This applies to my mentality as a designer, but also toward how I live my life. Less is more.

So, what’s the point? Is this piece to say that I don’t believe that Apple can stand on two legs without Steve Jobs? I would say no. Did Pixar crumble when Jobs stepped away? No. The man has a knack for doing the right thing at the right time, that’s a certainty. It’s not like the iPad was the first tablet computer. This is purely a commendation. A digital thank you to a powerful figure in industry, and in my personal life. I wish Tim Cook much luck in his future endeavors, and wholeheartedly believe that he’s bathed in enough of the Apples-sauce to do a stand-up job. That being said, I know that some things will change for the worse; and others will change for the better. Am I scared? No. I feel I’ve been empowered enough to think different.

Rocky McGredy is a San Francisco-based writer, marketer, social observer, and creative talent who you can follow on Twitter and Tumblr, and on 5 Blogs Before Lunch.

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