I guess it has finally sunk in. Last night when I heard the news about Steve Jobs’ passing from my son Matt on my MacBookPro, I was kind of numb.
As I wake this morning with my morning coffee, I’m not sure if I can leave the TV on today. His memory is everywhere, as it should be. But it all just makes me so profoundly sad.
It’s a selfish sadness, really, as I have made Steve such an integral part of my life. It all started the day Mike Beato showed me a bouncing digital three-dimensional black and white ball on the screen of the rectangular Macintosh computer, generation one.
I was speechless at first.
My only exposure to computers before that were the cathode ray yellow digits on aged green screens trapped in dirty beige plastic boxes on the desks of the accounting staff at regional ad agency Faller Klenk and Quinlan, where I shared the helm of Director of Account Services with my buddy Walt Frazier.
Heck, I was still using an Underwood typewriter.
The rest is history. Mike and I moved on to found Adwords Communications Limited at FKQ, and when my employment agreement ended a few years later, my wife Laurel and I opened Spada Advertising Marketing and Design for Business in January 1989, in our home, which grew into Interactive Direct Marketing in Williamsville, New York…all because of Steve Jobs.
But the highlight of all of my Apple experiences was seeing Steve Jobs introduce the iPhone at the Moscone Convention Center with my son Matt in 2007.
We arrived at SFO the day before, had an awesome steak dinner and a bottle of red wine at a chophouse, the name of which I can’t recall today.
We then decided to head back to our hotel to try to get some sleep, as we were heading over the Moscone Center to get in line at 2 am, as the doors were slated to open at 9 am, and we knew it would be a mob scene. It all was crazy/awesome at the same time.
When the doors of the venue opened, the rush of the crowd to find a seat was exhilarating, and Matt and I decided to sit at right of the stage as was the center area was pandemonium.
In typical Steve Jobs style, he started with this peace of news, and that new sales stat, and this techno blah-blah-blah, and then BANG.
As he explained what the iPhone was and how it worked, my eyes welled up as I knew I was seeing one of the most significant days in history and one of the most important days of my life – witnessing the one device that would truly change everything.
I remember leaving the Center when it was over, and I called Mike Beato to share the experience on my Nokia cell phone – one of the last times I ever used it. I was so excited I could hear my heart beating in my voice.
The rest is my history…and with gratitude, it continues.
Rest in peace, my friend. Just don’t get on God’s nerves.