An Open Letter to Steve Jobs

Dear Mr. Jobs,

As a child, I was first introduced to Apple on the Apple IIe platform, playing Oregon Trail in middle and high school.  But that was the extent of it.  I was raised on the various 486 PC’s available from IBM in the 80’s and 90’s, mostly playing games such as Space Quest, Kings Quest, and Leisure Suit Larry.

When I started my career in IT, NT4 and Windows 98 ruled the day.  Y2K fears were palpable, and we were busy doing Windows 2000 conversions and upgrades.  Apple was not even on my radar, and I scarcely heard about people using it in the niche market of post-production and Photoshop image editing.  Over the course of the next few years, that basic M.O. stayed in place in my life and career (and most enterprises).

In 2007, when the iPhone came out, lots of my friends went to stand in line for it.  I didn’t understand why.  Maybe it was partly because I wanted to be different.  Maybe it was partly wanting to resist fanboyism.

In 2008, after having a few coincidental phone failures, I was offered an iPhone.  “OK, fine, I’ll try it.”

Over the course of the next few months, I began to understand.  I got it.  Simplicity.  “It just works.”

I am proud to say that since 2008, I have been an avid iPhone user and outspoken advocate.

I own two iPads.

I own an AppleTV.

My entire entertainment architecture in my house is built around a massive library in iTunes, and streaming media to all of these devices from a centralized location.

I no longer carry a digital still OR video camera, or a separate iPod, because my iPhone4 converges all of that functionality into one device.

And most recently, with the support of my peers to help me learn, I handed in what will be my last Windows-based laptop, and picked up my first MacBook Pro.

I get it.  It just works.  It all just works.  And the evolution of iCloud this fall is going to be equally game-changing, and I cannot wait to participate!

You, Sir, are an icon. You will go down as one of the most influential leaders in the history of technology.  You have been on the forefront of innovation ever since you took Apple back over, and you set in motion an unstoppable tidal wave of new ideas, products, and making dreams reality.   Every time you go on stage, even at a tiny venue in Cupertino to describe plans for a new Apple campus, you are one of the most charasmatic speakers.  You command attention, you garner more excitement than the President of the United States, and you always deliver.

I remember being so pleasantly pleased when I heard you got your transplant, and were recovering well, and I wish you the best in your continued recovery.

Thank you for continuing to be a part of Apple in your new position as Chairman.

Thank you for making me believe.

Thank you for making me a fanboy.

-Nick Howell

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