A few weeks ago I was cleaning out my electronics/cables/crap that seem to be overtaking various nooks and crannies in my apartment, and I found my first iPod – which is second generation. While many of the things I unearthed ended up in an electronics recycling pile, I didn’t even consider putting this iPod in there, it just looks too cool – and was the first step in completely changing the way I listen to music.
So now I’ll hop on the bandwagon and talk about how my life has been touched by Steve Jobs. It began when I was a wee girl who woke up on Christmas morning to find a little Macintosh computer next to the tree. It was my family’s first computer, the computer I learned how to fly an airplane on (with Flight Simulator), and the computer I learned to type on. Sure, it was a bit odd looking with the square-ish monitor and body of the computer in one case, but it was all we knew and we loved it dearly.
Fast forward a few years and my parents gave me an iPod for my birthday. This white iPod with the four buttons underneath the screen went with me everywhere, and I thought nothing of having to digitize my entire CD collection. Now that seems like an utterly painful, complete waste of time.
And then in 2004, I started working at The Orchard, just after iTunes launched. Within a few months I was in Cupertino for our first Orchard/iTunes meeting of the minds, and then returned every few months for the next couple of years. Driving into the Apple campus was always a thrill, for this was the land of the person who told us to “Think Different” and provided the tools that enabled us to do so. I’m sure I even have my first couple of visitor’s passes stored away.
I was lucky enough to attend the 2005 event where Steve Jobs debuted the iPod Video with Wynton Marsalis, but that was before I started public speaking, so I didn’t fully appreciate the magic that is a Steve Jobs presentation. Then in September, I presented our Marketplace at SF MusicTech and, in preparation, I watched Steve’s App Store demo over and over, and read all about the aspects that make his presentations remarkable. Oh, and I also now create all of my presentations in Keynote, rather than Powerpoint.
So, now, while I haven’t yet jumped to an iPhone, I use a MacBook Air, and own an iPod Classic, Touch, Nano and Shuffle. Not to mention, my professional life would be entirely different if iTunes didn’t exist. I’ve grown up working in digital music, which has allowed me to travel the world (more on that later), listen to amazing music I never would have known about, and meet many people who are now my oldest NYC friends.
I grew up being told to do what I love and the rest will follow, which reminds me of this famous Steve Jobs quote:
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
So, who knows, without my Dad or Steve Jobs, maybe I’d miserably be wearing a suit and staring at Excel spreadsheets all day long. The money would be nice, but I’d rather grow old with laugh lines (wearing jeans and a black mock turtleneck) than a fat bank account.