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Steve Jobs and the Art of Transforming our Lives

SUREN on October 07, 2011

I was told Steve Jobs was ill. I noticed his frail appearance at WWDC 2011 but dismissed the hoopla around his health. I never doubted for a second that Steve would be back in the pink of his health soon. As always I fell hook, line and sinker for his "one more thing" preamble. An icon of my lifetime has passed away, and every person in the Mobicip team feels the loss deeply in their hearts.

I'm sure Steve has influenced and changed many lives, in ways more significantly than he did mine. But that is what is remarkable about this man, and I'm compelled to share this story nevertheless. June 09, 2008. This was the day Steve announced the App Store for the first time. I followed the engadget liveblog franctically, reloading and refreshing to catch the latest morsels thrown at us by the live-bloggers. I watched Steve's presentation after the session ended. I decided to quit my job that very day and Mobicip was born.

Steve Jobs has many remarkable achievements to his credit. One among those is the amazing transition of power from wireless carriers - the likes of AT&T and Verizon - to independent app developers. In the days before iOS, app developers were at the mercy of large carriers and their bureaucratic ways. If the carrier blessed you, and the app made it to the handsets, you had a shot at success. If they decided not to bless you, that would be it. With the announcement of the iOS SDK and the developer program, Apple opened the floodgates in one fell swoop. No more dealing with carriers. Pay $99 to Apple, download the SDK, develop the app, get it reviewed and published to the world. Every self-respecting app developer's life had changed, most certainly mine.

I had been, at the time, working with K-12 schools learning about the need for anytime anywhere learning using a handheld mobile device. When the iPod touch was launched - not the iPhone mind it, but the iPod touch - I felt it was going to satisfy the demand in education for a convenient learning device. When the SDK was announced, it was a no-brainer.

The message was delivered by Steve Jobs with his trademark flourish. And I knew at that instant that this was it. This man was going to change how our children learn. The iPod touch sowed the seeds. The iPad will transform education.

Steve, your legacy lives on. Among the people who use Apple products, among your fans, among your employees, and most importantly for me, among app developers like me whose lives you touched.

RIP Steve.

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