Thursday, October 6, 2011

Here's to you Steve

Here’s to you Steve…
  •  My first recollection of you was a 1992 article in Economic Times Brand Equity titled ‘What’s NeXT?’. That cool picture of yours with the Next Computer along with an account of your ouster from Apple is still fresh in my mind and it was the first time I was inspired by a business personality. Thanks for showing us that superstars don’t  always hold a guitar or a racquet .

  •    That article had something to do with my decision to choose Apple as an employer over a traditional IT MNC 7 years later. My business card ‘Sales Manager – Apple Computer’ with the six color Apple logo still gives me as much joy & pride as it did back then. Thanks for giving me a job.

  • I still treasure the  beautiful black book  titled ‘Think Different’ I received when I joined Apple. The  black & white images and inspiring messages from all your heroes, from Gandhi to Einstein, continue to delight. Thanks for the inspiration.

  •    I was extremely proud of  heading a regional office for Apple in Delhi. It didn’t even strike me that my kingdom  was a 5x5 cubicle  in a business centre and I was the only employee in my office at that time.  Such is the power  of  the Apple brand. Thank you for teaching me that  your worth is not measured by the size of your office.

  •   The small office meant that my house became an Apple stocking centre. My wife and I had no hesitation in devoting one room of  our two bedroom apartment  to stock  the iMacs and iBooks –  they were gorgeous. I would choose them anytime over  pieces of furniture. Thank you for  making our computers a work of art.

  •  The video ‘Here’s to the crazy ones’ used to give me goose bumps back then and even now. Nothing epitomizes your life than the last line in the video“ People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do” .Thanks for giving us the power to believe.

  •  Somewhere along the way I became a Steve Jobs & Apple trivia junkie. In a reseller recruitment drive my pitch  focused on your and Apple’s detailed story instead of the usual Reseller terms & conditions & profitability models  and it worked wonderfully. Thanks for showing us that the best way to convince people is to appeal to them at an emotional level.

  •   One of my most exciting moment at Apple was when I was nominated to  attend your MacWorld Keynote. The  US visa didn’t come through – the rules were made much tighter after 9/11. It turned into one of my biggest regrets.  Nevertheless we followed all your keynotes staying up late at night to witness the latest magical marvel you are unveiling.  We would  subsequently imitate the same presentations at  events in India and all of  us ended up  imbibing your style.  Thanks for  showing us  the true meaning of a presentation.

  •   I received the first iPod that landed in India– small privileges of being the Marketing Manager. You introduced  the concept of iTunes playlists back then.  I still have that iPod ( though its not working any more) but I  still run to the same ‘workout’ playlist I created back then .  Thanks for putting the  music in our lives.

  •   I was crazy about setting up Apple retail centers.  Due to lack of budgets for  the Retail initiative my wife and I used to spend our weekends doing up Apple shops on our own.  Looking back, those attempts look almost laughable compared to the ultra cool Apple Stores now. But thanks for showing us  what a retail experience should be.

  •  Over a decade ago you predicted  “we are entering an era of digital lifestyle and the Mac will be at the heart of it.” Though this became part of my sales pitch  I never quite believed it.  Now we know what you meant  back then, you were just ahead of your times. Thank you for transforming our lives.

  • I was disappointed when I secured a front page interview of yours with India’s leading business daily and the request was turned down by your office. I was told there are only 4 publications that you appear in. I couldn’t quite appreciate it back then when I was  told ‘we need to be focused and not over expose Steve’ . You said somewhere in the context of Apple’s minimalist design, ‘Focus is being able to say no’.  So true.Thanks for sharing the power of   being focused. When Apple changed the logo from  6-color to solid I wondered why don’t we talk about the change  and  create an ad campaign. Your guidance was – “a logo represents the sum total of what  a company does . Talking about the logo itself is meaningless from our consumers perspective” . Again something that took me time to understand.Thank you for sharing with the world how to create a powerful  brand.

  •  I still try to follow  the advise  you gave in your commencement speech at Stanford ‘What would you be doing if this was the last day of your life?’.  One of the most inspiring  speeches ever.Thanks for being a guide and mentor to millions.
  •   I had mentioned in my farewell note at Apple – ‘No matter where I work, Apple will always be close to my heart and I will continue to follow all developments at Apple’. I  moved on several years ago and the passing years made me  less star struck  but I stayed true to my promise. I still use your products and so does my son.  Thanks for a legacy that will last  for generations. Goodbye Steve.

Apple employee (1999-2003), Steve Jobs fan for life