RIP Sweet Prince of Creativity

Hasn’t everything been said about Steve Jobs and Apple that can be said? Actually, no. That’s because every person who has been touched by Steve and his products has a story of their own. This is mine. He has been called the Thomas Edison of our time. I have to agree. Without him and his “little” company with the cute name, chances are, my life would have taken an entirely different path.

One of his best quotes was to “Live your life for yourself. Do something bold and do something you love.” This has been my basic tenet in life. But my life with Apple began in the mid-1980’s. Sorry, one thing I have not done is keep a diary, but it had to be somewhere around 1986. I had just come off a rough landing from a start-up I was a part of. My last paycheck with them was their customer mailing list. Before you laugh, understand this was a list of people who had just taken a ski vacation that past winter. Chances were good this list was going to do it again the next season because, well, that’s what skiers do! It just so happened that my Mother, in this same year, was the Manager of the Sun Valley Chamber of Commerce, which also went out of business. It must have been a bad snow year… She took the 800# and another fresh mailing list of vacationers. It was time to quickly start a business because we had from that moment until the next Fall to make a go of it. With this great mailing list, all we had to do was mail out an offer to it. The cost to create the brochure professionally was not in the budget. But, as fate would have it, we did have a budget to purchase a “very expensive” computer that was capable of producing print-ready artwork for a brochure. It was a Mac II and I became the King of the PageMaker program. We sold that company a few years later but this became my stock and trade. Using a Mac to create.

My semi-demise in the world of visual creativity came at the hands of the internet, building a web site for one of my loyal brochure clients. I lost my shorts and decided to make a shift towards what I’ve done since then. Back in 1995, I wondered,”how is anybody going to find anything on this internet?” Fifteen years later, my brother and I run RightNow Communications, servicing a few dozen small to medium sized businesses with a variety of internet marketing services that revolve around being found when people go looking.

I go through a lap top, which has been my primary workhorse for easily the past 8 years or so, every 2-3 years. I am tough on them. And, I really don’t know that much about how they work. I have never had to. Anyone who uses a Mac knows what I am talking about. I’ve always loved music. From the 60’s-80’s I bought record albums; thousands. In the 90’s I bought hundreds of CD’s. Ive sold all the LP’s. Im still working on getting all my music onto iTunes and I am counting down the days till we have iTunes in the cloud. Then I can sell the CD’s and be done with all of that. I use lots of different music sources but my collection is all iTunes. I’ve already had 3 iPhones but one got stolen. That’s another story. I’ve got an older iTouch which I love for bike riding and plane rides. I don’t have any iPods but I’ve bought several as gifts! An iPad is definitely in my future. So as not to bore you, I’ll leave out what the son has (and will) need in the way of Apple products.

I would say the over riding theme in my relationship with Steve and his company is just a total quality experience that has led me to be valuable in the marketplace for skills I have used with their products. They have never let me down. I’ve never had a lemon. I’ve heard of them but not me. The help I have needed has always been first rate. If there is any regret at all it would be of selling their $16 stock in the darkest days before the iPod.

He obviously has an incredible design and production team. I am betting they have at least 10 years worth of stuff up their sleeves. So my bet would be the company will survive and thrive without him now. It is a very sad ending to a truly remarkable man who touched tens of millions of people. i’m certain mine is far from unique. But as Steve said, “when you complete something to it’s end, don’t stand around. Get on to the next thing!” So, that’s what I’m going to do.

Do you know anybody who wants to buy a ton of music cassettes? They are Dolby!

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