Goodbye, Steve

Every technology journalist has a dream to meet Steve Jobs and interview him. So when I heard that Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple on August 24, I had mixed feelings of sadness and admiration.

I’ve been an ardent fan and read everything I come across about Apple and Steve Jobs. When I bought an iPod Nano, I compared it to other digital music players in the market, and could see a vast difference. In 2007, how many music players had a hi-res color screen, track pad, multiple equalization, an alarm clock, games, notes/tasks, playlists, album art, and play modes – all packed into a form factor as sleek as the iPod Nano?

Jobs is truly a trendsetter and first mover, pushing the limits of product design and setting new standards for others to follow. He created products that were ‘disrupters’ across three industries: music, movies and mobile. And these products changed the lifestyles of millions of people.

But this sheer genius did not come without failure both at Apple and Next (the company that Jobs founded when he was ousted from Apple in 1985). Some of his failures were the Next machines, Apple Newton (its first attempt at tablets), Apple Lisa (1983), iMac USB Mouse, iPod Hi-Fi, Apple TV (first generation), and the button-less iPod Shuffle.

But then, failure is a stepping stone to success. With the acquisition of Next Software (1996), Apple got a great OS X.

So, will Apple be the same without Jobs overseeing day-to-day operations? Can the new man (Cook) fit in Job’s well-worn boots?

I am no expert on Apple and cannot answer these accurately. But what I can say is that Jobs will be missed in his little kingdom – the throngs of Apple fans who camp outside the Moscone Center in San Francisco every year for Mac World — or outside Apple stores to buy the latest Apple product.

Jobs will be missed for his marketing genius, his passion & enthusiasm, his penchant for details/perfection and yes, even his business shrewdness and temperament — because it took a combination of all this to make Apple one of the most valuable companies in the world.

So, I want to wish you all the best, Steve (I’ll still hope for that interview!)

And Apple – I’ll be watching you.