It sucks getting older. There are any number of reminders of that fact on a regular basis as I move through my 40s. A kid in college, the aches and pains from moving my body too quickly, the paunch that I struggle to keep under control, and the most annoying might be having to get up most nights to go to the bathroom when I should be sleeping.
One of the saddest reminders, however, is the all too regular passing of someone we admire, someone we know, someone we love. I haven’t had much death in my life to this point, fortunately. I lost a friend, a former boss, while away at college. A good friend, only slightly older was killed earlier this year. And I lost someone I admired yesterday.
I never met Steve Jobs. Never saw him speak in person, never worked at Apple, and rarely used their computers. However Steve Jobs was one of the few people that I wanted on my “what three people I would invite to dinner” list. Apple has always been a “cool” company to me, one that transcended the engineering efficiency of so many technology companies to build something that you could use, but more importantly, you wanted to use.
The comparison that came to mind this morning as I lay in bed, thoughts churning about both my day and the loss of someone I admired was the same one that Dave Winer wrote about in his memorial post: Frank Lloyd Wright.
The design, the clean, clear lines, the lack of anything extra was both elegant and insanely frustrating at times. However also genius, and reminiscent of not a better way to do things, but of the future.
That’s what Steve Jobs brought with both design and form in the Macintosh, the NeXt, Toy Story, the iPod, the iPhone, the Air, and the iPad.