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Steven P. Jobs  (1955-2011)

On behalf of the members of the The Colorado Springs Entrepreneurs Group we extend our sincere condolences to the immediate family of Steve Jobs, his close friends, acquaintances, business partners, and the staff and employees of Apple Computer who are today deeply saddened by the passing of a leader, a legend, an innovator, a giant, and a friend....  Steve was a true, 21st Century Renaissance Man.    - Godspeed Steve




Visionary ? Are you Kidding... Absolutely...

(Here is what he said 26 years ago) !

“The most compelling reason for most people to buy a computer for the home will be to link it to a nationwide communications network.  We’re just in the beginning stages of what will be a truly remarkable breakthrough for most people––as remarkable as the telephone.”  [Playboy, Feb. 1, 1985]




In my own small way, I wanted to post this page on the Colorado Springs Entrepreneurs Group web-site as a small tribute to Steve Jobs as he had a tremendous impact on my career (as well as the careers of millions of others around the world I would assume). The simple images of the logos that were developed for Apple through the decades (from the 1970's through the 1990's) showing the innovative progressions of the company and its products, and Steve's bold and insightful leadership that allowed him to keep re-inventing the company, adapting to the marketplace, and delivering "insanely great" products.

He was without question, one of the "Giants" in the High Technology Field which emerged from Silicon Valley in the 1970's. At the same time that Apple started, I was growing up in the shadow of Apple living in Sunnyvale, and attending De Anza College, (just down the street from Apple's headquarters). Since the early 1980's as I began my professional career, I have always felt a "connection" to Apple and other Silicon Valley companies like Intel, (which I worked at in the early 1980's in the new fab engineering group). As I began to pursue my own life as an Entrepreneur I drew tremendous inspiration and motivation from Steve Jobs and Steve Wozinak who together build a power house computing company on a solid technical foundation and who systematically designed, developed, and delivered some of the most elegantly designed and expertly engineered products in history.

Steve was an iconoclast, an individualist, a free thinker, and an innovator that set the pace, established the ground rules, and defined the boundaries. I reveled in watching him set-up and "spin" his "Reality Distortion Fields" as many used to call them. An artist at work, who refined the "science" of copying... and did it so well, the “originals” could not hold a candle to his new creations, (Sorry Xerox Parc !).

Where Where You in 1984?

And like the moon landing, (where I can remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I watched Apollo 11 land on the moon), I can remember exactly when I first layed my hands on a Macintosh, and the “instant ethereal effect” it had on me as I realized I had just walked up to a personal computer with no prior training or experience and began doing productive work almost immediately. It was at the Office Automation Conference that was being held in Los Angeles at the LA convention center in February 1984, just a few weeks after the pubic launch of the Macintosh by Apple in January 1984.

OACLA1984smI was attending the conference as I had just started my first Consulting company at the time and was on my own for the first time in my life looking for new business and opportunities. Apple had a large presence at the show with hundreds of Mac's in a demo area where people could walk up and start using them. Unfortunately the lines were 10-20 people deep waiting to get their turn. Instead I was fortunate to find a Mac at the show by just walking the expo floor and came across a Macintosh that was sitting on a table at the back of a vendors trade show booth. It was not being used, and I asked the booth personnel if I could “try it out”. Well about an hour and a half later, (after being immediately “mesmerized” running through all the Mac programs on the system, and being “flabbergasted” as the ease of use and power of the Mac compared to all other PC's that I had used before). I was pulled into a “Graphic User Interface Nirvana”. I was hooked, BIG TIME. To this date, I have never had this type of “complete” technology introduction experience again.

For those of you who were not alive in 1984 or were not able to attend the Macintosh unveiling by Steve Jobs in Cupertino on January 24, 1984, you can click the video below at the left for the public unveiling of Macintosh that was captured by Andy Hertzfield, (one of the lead Developers on the Macintosh Team) .  It was in a word... Pure Magic.  I was 24 and realized that I had picked the right industry, the right technology, and the right time to be an entrepreneur. 

Also below is one of the InfoWorld Magazine Covers from February 1984 with a confident and proud Steve Jobs showing off the Mac.  It was distributed at the show.  To read it online at Google Books, Just click on the cover and go back in time.  Steve was WAY AHEAD of everone else...  Like usual.


YouTube Video Above:  This was the public demo of the first Apple Macintosh by Steve Jobs, on January 24, 1984, in front of 3,000 people at the launch of the Macintosh in Cupertino.  Andy Hertzfeld captured the moment quite well in his retelling: "Pandemonium reigns as the demo completes. Steve has the biggest smile I've ever seen on his face, obviously holding back tears as he is overwhelmed by the moment. The ovation continues for at least five minutes before he quiets the crowd down."

Launching a Career in Technology:

In fact, once I was able to “glimpse” the future, I became an Apple Developer years later, (with a new company I had formed called Software Applications Group) to pursue development of Hypermedia solutions with the Mac.   My new company was listed in the Apple Developers Directory starting in 1987.   I even met Bill Gates in 1988 in an elevator at the Joint Apple/Microsoft CD-ROM Conference that was held in Seattle.   Becoming an Apple Developer, led me to new customers and clients, and software tools like HyperCard, that allowed me to begin development of advanced multimedia and non-linear educational and software solutions that dramatically expanded my business opportunities,  that ultimately led to new clients and technologies, and professional relationships and friends that I have to this day.  It literally turbocharged my career.  Thanks again Steve.

A Gracious Geek and a Gentleman to the Core:

And almost a decade later in 1993 when I was developing my Data Broadcasting company in the UK, (Mosaic Development) to develop FM-SCA Data Broadcasting Solutions over FM-Radio sub-carriers, and creating wireless credit card fraud systems and information services for the UK banking market, I had approached Steve Jobs as a possible investor while he was at NEXT... Even though I was not able to meet Steve personally regarding my inquiry or receive funding from him for my business,  I got a personal letter back from Steve wishing me well.   I realized today just how important this "touch" with Steve was.  And even though while working at Intel in the early 1980's I was able to personally meet the founders of Intel, (Bob Noyce at the closing of Fab 2 in Mountain View as well as Gordon Moore while working for the new fab engineering group in Sunnyvale), I truly wished I could have met Steve personally.   He was a "Gracious Geek and Gentleman to the Core".

Two of Steve Jobs best quotes, (and my favorites)...

 “It’s more fun to be a pirate than to join the navy.”    [1982, quoted in Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple, 1987]

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”    [Stanford commencement speech, June 2005]

Steve – Thanks so much for being your own man, for charting your own course, and not listening to everyone else tell you why you could not do or achieve success.  You did it anyways despite all the roadblocks and detractors you encountered along the way. You always knew at your core that you were right, over and over again.  You will be SERIOUSLY missed, but your vision and vigor for life will remain in the hearts and minds of us all who continue to use and benefit from your Insanely Great products and services.  -  Godspeed Steve.



Mike Schmidt, Chair
Colorado Springs Entrepreneurs Group

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