Making the World A (More) Beautiful Place

Did Steve Jobs change the world? Of course he did. As a dedicated Mac user my entire adult life, he certainly changed my life. And as someone typing this on a MacBook Pro, with my iPhone and iPad close by, yes, “I’m a Mac.” But his transformation of the world is about more than just stuff. He made an aesthetic transformation and that, I think, is his ultimate legacy. He put great design in the hands of millions. And he forced his competitors to follow along. He set the bar and then he kept setting it higher. (and note here that I’m not even mentioning Pixar because that is an entirely different – and another amazing – thing)

Long ago, when I was an editor at a small children’s book publisher, I remember learning the basics of design. I used a Mac. And I started designing things. I designed some of the books I edited. I designed bookmarks and posters. I produced the company’s catalog. On a Mac.

I still write fiction longhand (I use a pencil and yellow legal pads!) but I rewrote and edited my first book of short stories on a Mac. The same with my novel. I watch movies on a Mac. I listen to music on a Mac. Would I have done any of this had the products Steve Jobs helped inspire not been beautiful? Fun? What other company produces such delirium based on product launches? This used to be the domain of car companies and then Steve Jobs and Apple came along and got us all excited about technology. Because they appealed to some basic human needs. The products are simple to use, simple to understand and beautiful. And so our emotional connection is established.

There are some who don’t get that and that’s fine. I can’t stand the cult of Apple. But I’m a Mac through and through. And my life is better for it. Thanks to Steve Jobs.


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