Even though I expected this news, it felt like a big punch in the stomach when I heard that Steve had died yesterday. The words "Steve Jobs just died" on a text message gave me chills. It gives me chills just writing this.
I bought my first Mac in 1984 and taught myself to use it. I never read the manual. I just turned it on and it changed my life. Because of this, I have been an Apple lover and user for more than 27 years. I am writing this memory on a MacBook Pro, I read the news this morning and find joy every day using my iPad and I can't go a day without my iPhone.
While I attended Homestead High School and graduated with Steve in 1972, we were never really friends. More like classmates sharing an occasional lunch, seeing each other at an occasional party, sitting near each other in a class and taking PE together a couple of times. We would nod to each other in the halls and that's about it.
I remember speaking to Steve early in my finance career at Lehman after he had left Apple and started NeXT about financing his company and personal asset management. It was a short conversation, perhaps 15 minutes. But I remember that conversation and always will. His passion and excitement was clearly in his voice. We talked about NeXT and what he was doing to change the world - again. His new offices and why black was his choice of color for the NeXT computer. What an iconoclastic.
I have many memories of Steve and Apple and of my first Mac, my first iPOD, my first iPhone and my first iPAD. I am forever grateful for how he redefined computing and set standards so high that no other company could touch them. "Apple cool" is more than a phrase. It's a reality found in both Restaurant design and gadgets. Steve bridged the gap between tech and design, between form and function, between consumer and business utility.
I grew up here, in Silicon valley, and have a deep connection with tech and Apple. I drive by Apple HQ all the time and each time I think of the great man that had more tenacity, vision and passion than anyone I have ever known. He is someone to admire and emulate. Rest in Peace, Steve and thank you for all you gave us.