Steve Jobs, 1955-2011
by Harry / October 6, 2011

Design objects speak volumes. When I first saw the Macintosh (a 512, above) I remember thinking how it was revolutionary, a leap from the Apple ][ I had been using. It happened again when I "surfed the web" on an iPhone for the first time. In both instances, what I touched and interacted with was the expression of a singular vision.

Steve Jobs saw the future and marshalled the resources to make it a reality. He didn't invent the Macintosh, a team of engineers did that, but what he saw in his mind was made real. And let there be no doubt that every detail was perfected by Steve; the device, the interaction, the box it came in, the store it was bought in and the ads we saw - all had Steve's imprimatur.

One of my favorite design anecdotes comes from a family friend who worked in the prototypes department at Apple. I would regularly try to pry a sliver of information on what was coming in the product pipeline, always to no avail. But I did get one seemingly banal story a few years ago, how for the original MacBook Pro the prototype team spent hours working on a beveled edge. As with many things Apple, Steve was obsessed with this one mundane detail for this new product, so much so that the edge was redesigned, and then prototyped, literally dozens of times. Dozens. For an innocuous beveled edge. The edge that was finally chosen? The original, the first one.

When I use my Mac or my iPhone, I see Steve. I know that he held working prototypes of those devices for hours, thinking about things like their weight and appearance as well as how we would use them. I also know he saw the big picture beyond those objects, how they could transform entire industries and even human behaviour. The objects he created in his mind and then in reality embody all of those things, they're an expression of Steve himself. Those objects have had an extraordinary influence in my life, almost always for the better. I will miss you Steve Jobs.

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