Okay, let’s get this straight right off the bat. I ain’t an expert on the life and times of Steve Jobs. I never met the man. But I do recognize a grande tribute when I see one. So I’m piling on! There have been gazillions of salutes to Mr. Jobs upon the news of his death on October 6th. The passionate homage of thousands was unleashed at internet speed. Momentous testaments topped headlines worldwide. The mass eulogy continues unabated in blogs, business journals and news magazines. Yet with all the hype, speed and simplicity carried the sad day. Enter the two-click web memorial courtesy of Google and Apple. Surely you noticed? Open your browser and there it was. From the Google home page, the announcement came simple and true. No blaring headline, no fancy font– just the news: Steve Jobs, 1955 – 2011.
Click on the Google link and there he is. Mr. Steve Jobs. His steel portrait looms prominent on a respectfully vacant Apple home page. Like the man, the illustration is sharp, honed and distinctive. It’s a great portrayal. There’s the vintage dark turtleneck; the horn rimmed glasses; the slight scow and famous smirk. Yep, it’s him, all right, in classic. It’s a visual memorial that has staying power. You will remember that picture. Yes you will. Click again from the Apple home page and up pops the official tribute. Three sentences and that’s it. Eloquence and simplicity combine so his spirit shines in tweet-sized bullets. Nicely done.
It’s a short and snappy eulogy; a touching admiration without a trace of maudlin. Here’s a snippet: The world has lost an amazing human being… His spirit will always be the foundation of Apple. The language is standard fare. Nothing fancy yet it resonates profound– Amazing man, friend, mentor who left a legacy. Yes, that about covers it. The two-click picture with prose arrangement is classic Apple keepsake. Complex parts pristinely packaged with brevity and visual appeal. The end user appreciates it. Kudos to Apple. Google too.
Changing the World
We in public speaking are apt to be taken by this man. He was a commanding character. His presence engaged. His witticisms were catchy. His signature on-stage product presentations enamored many, starting with his acclaimed Macintosh unveiling in 1984. His 2005 Stamford University commencement address is an inspirational classic. His quotations are widely publicized, especially now.
Yes, Steve Jobs inspired. “I want to put a ding in the universe,” he famously vowed. Job’s brazen challenge to John Sculley to defect from Pepsi and join him at Apple is legendary: “Do you want to sell sugared water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?” Great quotes from a true visionary.
.Click. Boom. Amazing!
However, I applaud the two-click tribute precisely because it doesn’t go there. It doesn’t glorify him as the man who changed the world. My favorite Steve Jobs quote is, “Click, boom, amazing.” Yes, he was. His life and accomplishments intrigue even the most casual observer. His impact was far reaching and I love my iPhone too!
No doubt the testimonials will continue. The inevitable TV movies will air shortly. Then come the books vying for best seller distinction. Endless commentary will flourish across the blogosphere meantime.
But I ain’t buying. I’ll stick with the two-click tribute and let the good man rest in peace. Click, boom, amazing!