For as long as I’ve been a copywriter, I’ve worked around designers who touted Apple products. For years I blew them off as dogmatic brand ambassadors. I was a writer – all I needed was a pencil and pad of paper. Then, back in 2009, I bought a refurbished iMac. It was so brilliant, so quickly, that I immediately decided to turn my entire home and office into an Apple shop. Two years later and, well, I’m not going to laundry list all of Apple products that surround me – but let’s just say we’re more efficient and happier than we’ve ever been. Yes, happier. Connectivity and simplicity are beautiful things. And there’s not one spec of PC or Windows hardware to be found.
So yes, all you designers were right.
Wednesday afternoon Steve Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple. For many, it’s a crushing blow to their church of efficiency. But hey, people resign. I’m cool with it. Like you, I surfed around last night and read various stories about Steve Jobs’ influence on us, and found one on Huffington Post that caught my attention. It was a list of his top 10 quotes. No, I’m not going to list all 10 quotes, because that would be redundant. There were a few, however, that resonated deeply with me. And not just because of the computer part either. The quotes below could have been issued by a clergyman, or your favorite high school teacher. They’re so simple, they ring true in all aspects of life.
“[Y]ou can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” – Stanford commencement address, 2005
“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. … Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” – Stanford commencement address, 2005
“That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” – BusinessWeek, 1998
The genius of Apple has never been the hardware, but the software and OS. All Apple products focus on the user experience. Humans respond best to simplicity – and that’s what makes the Apple experience different. There’s a reason why the iPhone only comes in black and white. A lot of people call Steve Jobs a genius for his accomplishments at Apple. But more than anything, his genius was never forgetting about the humans who use Apple products. Thank you, Mr. Jobs, for working so hard to get my thinking clean.