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

  1. Todd Rovinelli

    Thank you Nick for sharing your letter.  I hope you do not mind, I shared it on my Facebook page.  It is funny, how you got into Apple was somewhat similar to how I got into loving Apple. 

  2. Swarna Podila

    Very well articulated, Nick. Apple devices – MacBook, iPhone, iPad, iPod…anything – scream only one thing – delivering the best user experience. Granted they are all expensive…but isn’t simplicity worth that premium? My mom, who has never been a ‘computer user’ – is a huge fan of her MackBook Pro and she still cannot believe I use a PC for my work. Her reaction to the MBP all along – “what’s not to love?”

    Steve has changed the world with the plethora of iDevices. IMO, he is the one who put “smart” in the “smartphones”. Long Live Steve!

  3. Scott McDonnell

    Nice Letter Nick.

    Steve Jobs changed not only the technology industry, but the movie and music industries as well.

    Whether you are an Apple Fan Boy or not, all of our lives have been influenced by Some peice of technology he help create.

    Steve was an inovator, a motivator and a visionary. He will be missed.

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