Yes, I am a Macophile, one of the legions of fans of Apple Inc. and all of its products who seem to be taking the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs on Wednesday even more personally than the rest of the world. I wasn’t always such a devotee. For a long time, I straddled the PC and Mac camps, but I finally jumped in with both feet a few years ago, chucking my PC desktop and my lame MP3 player that for some reason displayed words only in Danish and embracing the iMac, iPod, and iPad. (I’m eagerly anticipating my first iPhone, too, as soon as my Verizon Android contract is up next summer.) I love this streamlining of my digital life almost as much as I love my streamlined iStuff.
Apple is that rare company whose products deserve the highest marks for both form and function. And Steve Jobs was the rare CEO whose vision always took the needs of his end users into consideration. He built a network of Apple stores that offer training and face-to-face technical support to anyone who can get to them, essentially providing a kick-ass IT department for those of us who are self-employed. Of course, it’s a bit maddening for the budget-conscious that a visit to the Genius Bar requires a stroll past all the new and improved products that Apple has to offer, but who can fault Jobs for being a brilliant marketer?
It’s also noteworthy that Jobs was always known for his groundbreaking ideas, rather than his net worth. Although his success certainly would have earned him the title of business magnate—the Wikipedia entry for the term has a photograph of Bill Gates—his public image was as more of an iconoclast than a tycoon. It’s fitting, then, that yesterday while thousands of people in the Occupy Wall Street protests leveled criticism at corporate greed, hundreds of others laid tributes to Jobs in front of the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue some six miles away. We’ve all learned so much from Steve Jobs. Perhaps the other “captains of industry” should do the same.
*"Insanely Great": Steve Jobs' description for the Macintosh computer