Friday, October 7, 2011

On Thinking Different

Looking at my facebook homepage last morning, I cudnt help but be overwhelmed by the collective outpouring of tribute for and quotes by Steve Jobs. I had this slight sinking feeling in my stomach, a somewhat delicate sense of loss and it was strange that it was for a man I didn't really know at all. But what he dreamed up changed the daily habits of millions around the world, what he created was what all of us grew up desiring. Atleast, I did. I remember brokering deals with my parents, deals that ran along the lines of 'If I get a Distinction in every subject this year, will you buy me an iPod?' Well, I did get both. The Distinctions and the iPod. It was incredible, the idea that something so small and so elegant cud be kept safe under a pillow at night while Elvis Presley crooned into my ears or V. S. Ramachandran delivered personal lectures about phantom limbs and Capgras syndrome.

It didn't feel like just another consumer product. Even if some people insist that's all it really was.

Whichever side one takes, in all the debating and discussing over Apple and their iPods and iPads and iPhones and Macs and all that, one can't help denying, it is awesome technology, marketed rather effectively. And Steve Jobs, who made most of it possible, is gonna be sorely missed.

I rather liked this quote from the long and lovely list of quotes that flew around in newspapers and forwards and on facebook yesterday.

"Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify them or vilify them.

About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.

Maybe they have to be crazy.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that's never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

We make tools for these kinds of people.

While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."

And cradling my iPod as it plays a rather soulful Rosanne Cash song, it's nice to imagine being one of those people he's talking about so passionately. And that's a feeling you can't quite put a price on.


Arumugam said...

He combined aesthetics and technology and the cool quotient (the ipod ads)were a brilliant marketing strategy. I was curious to know more about his experiences on the enlightenment seeking India trip,alas not much is known.

Actually I was a little surprised at the massive outpouring of grief,for an intensely private billionaire entrepreneur who was non existent on the philanthropic scene .It remains to his wife to leave a legacy befitting him in that regard. When the founders personalities overshadow the company and the thousands of brilliant people working there,as is the case with Microsoft,it doesn't bode well for the company's future.

As I type on a macbook,I just hope they continue to create the magic.

mgeek said...

I have a love-hate relationship with apple. And I am also not naive enough to romanticize every dead guy. But this man was different, I will give him that. If not for anything, then at least for being an example that life gives all second chances.

P.S. Which Rosanne Cash song?

Tangled up in blue... said...

Arumugam, I was rather surprised when I read about the India trip, did seem a little out-of-character for somebody like him. But then, he's the I'll-try-anything-once kinda guy, I guess. And yeah, I hope so too.

mgeek, yeah, he was quite unputdownable, actually. And Black Cadillac. :)

Arumugam said...

Recently read something to mull over...

Jester said...

V S Ramachandran's explanation of Capgras is brilliant for its simplicity. steve jobs' inventions are much the same way!