Friday, October 07, 2011

One more thing


On my way back from my daily visit to my client I passed the Apple Store close to Marienplatz, the very centre of the city of Munich. The man-sized iPad replicas were dark. There were little bunches of flowers... and some apples... placed against the windows on which a good number of Post-Its had been stuck.

It was late afternoon and time for me to head to my café for a couple of beers. For the first time in a couple of weeks there were clouds in the sky. Our glorious Indian summer was ending.

How fitting, I thought.

At Café Schwabing the numerous big television screens were showing the feed from NTV, a German rolling-news channel. At 18:30 they broadcast a hastily assembled 'special' devoted to the passing of Steve Jobs. I watched it and found it moving, even if in the café there tends to be no audio unless Bayern München are playing. 

The 'ah-ha' moment for me came when the news special ended. There were commercials... trailers... promo clips... and then the graphic opener for the scheduled top-of-the-hour newscast. And then it struck me... all of these motion graphics elements, these video artifacts... spring from a design culture which owes so very much to the tools Steve Jobs gave us. While the Apple machines never had a huge share of the overall computer market they were and are the equipment of choice within what is rather smugly called the 'creative community'. 

By the time the commercial embedded above came out in 1997, voiced in this version by Steve himself, I had been 'thinking different' for almost a whole decade, since the day when a colleague upgraded to the newly launched Mac Plus and bequeathed to me his Mac 512k.

In 1988 the game Shufflepuck Café was released. And that year, too, my daughter was born. It was not long before a little baby was pestering me to play against  the shy dweeb Skip Feeney in order to hear him say in a tinny voice "good shot!" after winning a point. 

In ten days she will celebrate her twenty-third birthday. I am happy to report that she shows every sign of taking to heart Steve Jobs' admonition...
“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 other’s 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.”

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