The news reached me this morning at my office in Barcelona (just as I was firing up my iMac). Not via Twitter, Facebook, or Google Reader, but in casual conversation with a coworker. Regardless of the medium, the message was unavoidable: the world has lost Steve Jobs.
I’ve always thought of Steve Jobs as a real-life Willy Wonka. He was able to create products that literally “surprised and delighted” us; he seemed mysterious and lived privately, but when it was time to take center stage, his energy and passion transformed him and his audience. And while Jobs’ wardrobe was more austere than Wonka’s, both men had creations available in bizarre flavors such as tangerine and snozberry.
Like Wonka’s chocolate factory, Apple will carry on under new management. I hope their product recipes will always include a big splash of Steve Jobs’ spirit.
Even if you’re already obituaried-out, I recommend taking a moment to read Michael Fienen’s reflections on the life and death of Steve Jobs. He helped me understand why I was moved almost to tears when I heard about Jobs’ passing.