The world lost an amazing visionary today. Rest in peace Steve Jobs.
The year was 1996. I had graduated from computer engineering school and unlike most of my peers, spent the next few months at my parent’s house, not chasing a job (and unlike some of my peers, no job was chasing me either). Sheer laziness I suppose, or perhaps a lack of ambition combined with the audacity of youth. Either way, I am pretty sure my family was wondering what the hell I was doing.. but nobody said too much about it. I continued to relax and enjoy my mom’s cooking and the daily crossword and the company of my beloved grandfather. I was blessed to have that time with him because he would pass away soon after. My laziness had paid off.
And then, out of the blue, a job offer from this company called Apple Inc. They were testing ground in India, and had started a small branch of the company there. Getting that job offer, with the rainbow Apple logo letterhead was thrilling. I still have that letter saved somewhere. What an amazing place it was to work with some pretty awesome people. More than anything though, that job opened my eyes to the world. Possibilities. Ideas. When we spoke with our colleagues in Cupertino, their excitement and enthusiasm was contagious. They truly loved what they did. What a concept!
That job at Apple was kind of my ticket to come and work in the USA with my newly acquired Mac programming skills. And at my new job, I got to go visit the Apple headquarters in Cupertino, CA in November 1998. Yes me, a kid from Hyderabad India, was in the cool Apple offices, chatting with these amazingly passionate programmers. A thrill of a lifetime. And a lesson that stayed with me. Do what you love. Those programmers loved what they did and seeing them made me realize that I did not love what I did. I was very very good at it but it did not feed my soul. And seeing them I hoped that one day I would find that one thing that I would love just the way they loved discussing code and bugs and new ideas.
Steve Jobs will never know the true impact he had on our world, on ordinary people everywhere. I have always been a proud Machead. And today I mourn the loss of an amazing man.
Rest in peace Steve.