I’m guessing we’ll be seeing quite a few tributes in honour of Steve Jobs these next few days to mark the first anniversary of his passing.
One year… Already.
I miss Steve Jobs. I know it’s weird. I obviously never knew him, never even met him. But I find myself thinking of him, the same way I think about those who were close to me. And when I do there’s a real sadness there. As there was a year ago. It doesn’t subside.
It’s hard to grasp really, but I guess the best explanation I can give is that his passing left a hole in my imaginary world, a void in the realm of hopes and possibilities.
Below is a reprint of the piece I wrote on October 6 2011 and a few pictures of the spontaneous memorial that appeared on Ste-Catherine street in Montreal — one of many across the world.
Moving on — but not forgetting.
STEVE AND US | 1955–2011
I was sitting on the couch, going through Flipboard on my iPad after having put my oldest to bed. I’d just tweeted a story about a possible X200 when I got a reply from my friend Morten Byskov: check #AP.
I didn’t get it. I kept on reading. A few minutes later I opened a link to an article that contained an interesting photo. I wanted to save it to my inspiration album — I do this when I find images I want to analyze or just keep around. A banner on the website’s home page read: Steve Jobs is Dead. Honestly, it didn’t even register. For a few seconds I thought: how rude. And then it hit me.
The previous night I’d sat in bed watching the iPhone 4S unveiling. When Phil Shiller — Steve’s longtime keynote demo buddy — walked on stage, I felt a shock. Something wasn’t right. I couldn’t shake the feeling that he somehow looked devastated and immediately thought: Steve’s not well and he knows something we don’t. Then I dismissed it. Nerves, I thought. A new haircut that makes him look different.
The fact that less than 24 hours later I didn’t immediately accept the news goes to show just how much I clung to denial. Like you do for someone very close.
And that’s the thing. In a way we were close. We all are.
Look around you: we’re all living in Steve’s world. Our daily lives have all been shaped and transformed by his vision and determination. This isn’t hyperbole either, it’s all there.
It’s why we feel so connected. It’s why his passing is so personal.
The cynical amongst us saw him as nothing more than a gifted salesman. How sad. Have you ever believed in something so deeply that you made everyone around believe it too? That’s never marketing or salesmanship, not at that level. And it’s not some reality-distortion field: it’s a genuine capacity at being astonished, at being profoundly convinced by the work you’ve done. Steve saw beauty in Apple’s realizations and it was contagious. He was building a future he had envisioned, brick by brick, clearing the road ahead.
Last night the lights dimmed, flickered a little, and the world suddenly felt a bit more lonely.
We lost the one who dared dream for the rest of us.