But I wanted to take just a minute to recognize his passing by recalling one of my most memorable Steve Jobs experiences.
It was in January 2007, on the day the iPhone was first introduced to the world.
Reading a blog instead of walking the trade show floor
I was at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, one of the coolest events I got to go to for work (I had a different job at the time), and rather than walk the convention floor looking at TV after TV, awesome new cell phones, and all kinds of other high tech gadgets, I was in the press room “watching” the live blog coverage of Steve’s keynote.
But as cool as some of the products at CES were, none came close to the iPhone. I was in the press room on Tuesday when details first started to emerge about it, and as people were logging onto Engadget and other sites, you would hear about it all across the room. “Oh cool!” “Did you see that?” “Check this out.” “Oh man, I so want one of those.” “Oh wow.” It was pretty exciting, as “you had to be there” kinds of things go. Microsoft might have used the tagline “Welcome to the Wow” to launch Windows Vista at CES, but the iPhone was the real Wow of the show — and it wasn’t even there. (Apple has its own show, in San Francisco.) And of course, I totally want one.
Despite everything else going on, the press room during that hour or so was the place to be. (I later learned that a future coworker, who I didn’t know at the time, was there too.)
The buzz in the room was palpable. I think everyone in there knew that with this keynote, Steve had essentially rendered everything at CES that year moot. Nothing in Vegas could compete with it. After that keynote, nobody cared about TVs or the suddenly lame cell phones on the show floor anymore.
But it wasn’t just the iPhone itself that was exciting. It was Steve’s confident, playful presentation of it.
Steve Jobs’ keynote speeches had a unique kind of power, whether you read the updates on Engadget or watched the video later that day (or listened to the remix).
When Steve gave a keynote, you blocked off time on your calendar and were glued to your computer while it was happening. You hung on every word because the guy was such a great speaker and what he was talking about was always so cool. He knew how to captivate you, how to make you want something you didn’t even realize you wanted.
That’s because Steve was a master showman and salesman. He loved the products he was introducing as much as you did, and that showed.
That 2007 keynote was no exception. It was an instant classic. (It should be noted, by the way, in full disclosure, that it took me more than two years to actually get an iPhone. Talk about restraint.)
I’ll miss the Steve Jobs keynotes, and I’ll miss his new product introductions. I’m glad I got to experience that one in 2007, and will always remember it.
Oh, and one more thing …
Without him, we’d never have met Woody, Buzz, Nemo, Dory, the Incredibles, and so many other indelible characters. That alone would be significant. But Steve had Pixar and Apple. Wow. What a legacy.
For that day in 2007, and lots of great moviegoing experiences before and after, I just wanted to say, “Thank you, Steve Jobs.”
He was a true innovator. My life is better because of him and his creations.