It was a terrible day, October 5, 2011. If you didn’t already figure it out, that was the day we lost one of the greatest minds to ever walk the planet, and it makes me really sad thinking about it today. Especially considering the events that have taken place since. Only once every few years, do we come across a Dictator, who “mediates the battle between art and science with a curious mind, an iron fist, and taste”.
I was doing my usual early morning reading rounds at 5am today, when I stumbled on this article by Michael Lopp, a former Apple employee who writes under the alter ego/pen name, Rands. Embedded in it was the video you see below. A fireside chat between Steve and developers of that time at the closing keynote of the 1997 Worldwide Developer Conference, WWDC. It’s striking that I like this a lot better than his more popular public speeches. Even though it’s an impromptu Q/A session, it’s hard not to notice how…in control Steve was throughout the conversation. What’s more? He was right on the money for a lot of the questions he was asked (giving a little leeway, because this was almost 20 years ago).
Steve fielded even the less interesting questions from the developers and delivered the answers in a way that would make even muggles give a shit about them. It’s clear to me that Steve was only able to give such great answers because he deeply knew and deeply cared about Apple. To paraphrase M.G. Siegler, it’s impossible to give an interesting answer to a question if you don’t know the actual one.
I miss you, Steve.