Well, let’s say you can shave 10 seconds off of the boot time. Multiply that by five million users and that’s 50 million seconds, every single day. Over a year, that’s probably dozens of lifetimes. So if you make it boot ten seconds faster, you’ve saved a dozen lives. That’s really worth it, don’t you think?
There is something sad to observe in this day, and it’s not just a first world problem. It is a loss in humanity, a figure in innovation.
Sure, the Tweets and Facebook posts updated non-stop in between hurried IMs between friends, but largely, my productivity died with the news. My keystrokes weren’t steps toward work, but discussions about the man who pioneered the very platform that powers these keys. It’s tremendous.
In June of 2009, I was funderemployed, setting up first-time smartphone owners and Mac users with their iPhone 3Gs (not 3G S). I remember walking out to the line of customers outside, escorting my charge into the store, and saying, “So while you were in line, Michael Jackson died.”
Shocked ’em every time.
I think this was very much a misdirected slap in the face for all the times I had been asked by customers, “So what do you think about Steve Jobs and his cancer?” To them, they were just striking up conversation, trying to be witty, but I always felt offended on behalf of a sick person (not even necessarily Steve Jobs, not even necessarily a public figure), that they consider such a topic to be appropriate fodder for small talk.
I would reply, “I think whenever someone is really sick, you should just let them be sick. And hope they get treatment, but you know, unless you can help them, it’s hard to talk about it without them being there.” Often times the variations on that would be shorter, brisker, to match the snark of the consumer.
I can’t describe what it was like to learn Michael Jackson died in the backroom, and to then get the show back on the road at the end of break. King of Pop died. Sell another phone.
This time it’s like the ground has disappeared beneath me. I feel alone in this house, like a guiding hand has been taken away.
When you work in an industry completely reliant on well-designed systems and innovation, how can you not be affected by an icon’s passing? It’s the final act that makes them most human.
As far as people I held to be personal icons: Michael Jackson, Alexander McQueen, even Tupac Shakur – Steve Jobs’ death has trumped them all for me. It’s not that I’ve forgotten he has an incredibly talented and enormous team working within his company, but he was the figurehead for something huge that made revolutions when it was perceived as an underdog. I’m no advocate for his famously hotheaded attitude, but guess what? His fuck-yous got results, and now you’re all benefiting from his refusal to settle for less.
He was our President of Innovation. We voted for him every time we adopted his crazy ideas. Maybe not the candy-colored iBooks, but pretty much every derivative feature starting with the preposterous notion that computers could be personal, and that phones could be computers (or four devices in one).
Quotes are everywhere right now. No reason not to preserve them for myself here. Stay hungry. Stay foolish. RIP, Steve Jobs.
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
- Why Everyone Just Thought Steve Jobs Died (UPDATED) – 12:03 PST
- October 14 Declared ‘Steve Jobs Day’ – 6:21 PST
- Statement by Apple’s Board of Directors – 4:34 PST
- Steve Jobs is Dead – 4:41 PST
- Tim Cook: “No words can adequately express our sadness at Steve’s death” – 5:01 PST
- Steve Jobs, in His Own Words
You can, of course, be snarky, and say that this is a first world problem. That the world didn’t stop. Only the Bay Area and self-described technologists care. But when you think about how people who are doing outreach for social justice and human rights are conducting their often remote, system-dependent work, you often discover that technology truly does drive connections that go beyond our industrialized reach.