I feel like a close friend has died and those I want to mourn with are far away. Upon hearing of the death of Steve Jobs, my heart sunk. The world will not be the same for quite a while. For me it seems like a personal loss even though I never met Steve Jobs.
For two and a half years I had the awesome opportunity to sit under Steve Jobs’ leadership and enrich lives in an Apple Retail Store. From the very beginning we were told that we were involved in changing the world and making a difference in people’s lives through technology. Working at an Apple Store was a special experience. A family was formed. Now that our leader has passed away I feel far away from my family members who I want to mourn with. But thankfully the devices that Steve designed help me feel closer.
In Apple Retail we were not just selling cold pieces of technology. We had the joy of seeing Steve’s products connect people together and enrich the lives of those who purchased them. I could tell story upon story of customers who purchased a Mac or an iDevice and how those devices connected them to their family and friends in very real ways.
What did Steve Jobs have that sets him apart from other innovators and CEO’s? I believe Steve Jobs had what I call “prophetic innovation.” He knew what we wanted before we could even articulate it. Whether it was the Apple II, the iPhone or the iPad he prophetically knew what people would want and designed it for them. He saw a future and designed technology for that future. I love selling products because I know that when people go home and plug them in, they will be hooked. The products sell themselves.
I think Apple will weather this sad loss in stride. Apple is very good at developing new leaders and encouraging leaders to train up a “bench” of talent to step up when there is a transition. Apple is much different than it was in 1985 when Steve left Apple for the first time. Steve has raised up other prophetic innovators to take the torch and run with it. But the world will never quite be the same without Steve Jobs.
We miss you already Steve.