How Steve Jobs Gave Me Stories To Tell

October 7th 2011. Written by Vinleon.

I’m writing this post with a heavy heart, with tears in my eyes.

For those of you who knows me well enough, you would’ve known I’m a die-hard Apple fanboy. Amongst my friends, I'm like the Apple Guru; if they wanted more information or specifications on a product, or maybe just something about Apple or Steve Jobs, or sometimes about the validity of a rumour. Even though I’m not rich, most of my savings go towards purchasing an Apple product. You can say I’m a victim of great marketing, but it’s the unsurpassed experience that they provide which I’m chasing after. 

“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

It all started with my first  MP3, a Creative Zen Neon. The interface was frustrating, and creating a playlist was a chore, plus it duplicates songs on different playlists, which wastes storage space.

Then one day, my best friend Janice showed me her iPod nano 2nd gen. It was sleek, easy to use and the click wheel was (at that time) cutting edge. I salivated over that iPod, such that I started looking further into Apple and it’s products.

Right at the time when my interest for Apple was piqued, the 3rd gen came out. I remember using money (that my mum put in for me that I wasn’t supposed to touch. And believe me, my mum is one person not to be taken for a ride) from another savings account to get a piece the awesomeness. I showed it to Janice, and boy was she jealous!

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.”

It brought me though my JC years, seeing me through the highs and lows, the bitter and sweet. Of course my mum found out eventually, and I got more than just chiding. 

When I was in the army, it made many situations more tolerable: the first few days in BMT, outfields (I sneaked it out), the late nights and early mornings in SISPEC, route marches and the list goes on. Today, my very first Apple product, a black iPod nano 3rd gen, is still with me.

“I was worth over $1,000,000 when I was 23, and over $10,000,000 when I was 24, and over $100,000,000 when I was 25, and it wasn’t that important because I never did it for the money.”

I went on to buy an iPod touch, a shuffle, a MacBook Air (which I’m typing with) and an iPad. 
The point is, for me, it all started with a great experience with a small product which won my heart. Then the rest was just compulsive following of the brand i grew to love and trust.

Honestly, I dunno why I’m shedding tears for a familiar stranger. But I know the products that he created changed my life, and the lives of many out there. It doesn't matter if you don't own an Apple product; the music you listen to, the magazines you read, the movies you watch, the clothes you wear (I can go on forever) probably have got Apple's footprint.
“Our DNA is as a consumer company – for that individual customer who’s voting thumbs up or thumbs down. That’s who we think about. And we think that our job is to take responsibility for the complete user experience. And if it’s not up to par, it’s our fault, plain and simply.”

I didn’t have a story to tell with the Neon I own, which stayed with me for 2 years or so. I didn’t have a story to tell with the many PCs I’ve used that I’ve replaced and fail me. I didn’t have a story to tell of the 3 year old palm that I dumped eventually. But with Apple, every single product that I’ve used, I can tell you a story with it.

If there’s one thing Apple succeeded, it is the success of their emotional selling. And it is with this emotional selling that I developed an attachment to Steve Jobs and the way that they position and market their products.

“Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.”

Ever since I own my very own Apple product, I taken notice of his ideologies and philosophies. He was a simple man with great vision. Innovation runs in him, and a great experience is what he seeks to provide. He understood that less is more.

Whenever there is a keynote, I never fail to stay up till 2am to catch it. I know it’s gonna be on my newsfeed, but I just can’t curb that enthusiasm. I know the next product is gonna make me really excited and I know I won’t be disappointed. That is how much faith I have in Steve Jobs and his team, and they have delivered time and again.

All these experiences that I had wouldn’t have existed had Steve Jobs not dared to think differently, to innovate, to have a vision.

“Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. 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.”

Steve, I always dreamed to work for you. Though it’s impossible now, your spirit shall live in my heart for a very, very long time. I don’t know how, but I will strive to somehow get my ass into Apple and do something, whether small or great, for the company, for the legacy that you had left behind. Thanks for giving me stories to tell, including this little one.

We’ll miss you.

A face in the crowd. An Apple Evangelist. A Steve Jobs fanboy.


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