I want to salute Steve Jobs today – I want to sing his praises. It is my belief that Steve Jobs was an exceptional person, not an easy person we are told.
When my PC died loudly and agonisingly some 4 years ago I sought the advice of my geeky chums on what to buy next. One person whose opinion I value told me in no uncertain terms that I should not consider anything other than Apple (of which I had zero experience – in fact those Macs slightly freaked me out; I thought they were only for creative types).
We only had one Apple Store in London in those days which was in Regent Street. I spent a good 5 hours in there (mad or what?). I must have tried every Mac and laptop in the place, I had chats with the staff on the ease of transition from PC to Mac, I sat in on a theatre style lecture. I was super super impressed by what I saw and by what I experienced and by the helpful staff with their easy friendly manner. The store itself is a dream for me, a huge airy light space with lots of room to move and the possibility to try out every piece of equipment without hassle. In no time at all, I found myself hooked. I left that shop the proud owner of a spanking new Mac. The young assistant kindly carried it to the bus stop for me. My beautifully designed Mac and I have been the best of friends since that day and I have spent many hours in that store since.
I booked a year’s worth of lessons for an astounding £79. For this stonking fee you can book an hour’s one2one lesson with a teacher, take your computer in with you if you wish. The value I have received from those lessons is indescribable. These guys upstairs seem to know the answer to the Universe and everything in it. These lessons are still the same price 4 years on. Bargain!
The Apple store is a most magical place for me, it is not just about the learning and the Macs, it is about what happens to me when I am in there, the serendipitous meetings I have with other customers, the light bulb moments that occur to me – it’s crazy and difficult to articulate but this is a regular feature of my visits to that store. Steve Jobs once said “Apple stores are intended not just to move boxes, but to enrich lives.” I think he must have had me in mind when he said that.
Here are a couple of my favourite Steve quotes:
“we don’t get a chance to do that many things and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life, life is brief and then you die you know? And we’ve all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good, it better be worth it”
“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me….going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful….. that’s what matters to me”
Thank you Steve Jobs – you had a vision and that vision became (and still is) the mother of all brands. How grateful are we!
So tell me – what matters to you?