I met Steve Jobs only once.
He was coming into Moscone Center to take a walk around the MacWorld floor. Oddly, he was not surrounded by his usual entourage or throngs of people clamoring for his attention. I just happened to be walking out at the time. I don’t usually stop public figures. I live in LA, we leave them be. But I stopped Steve. I felt compelled. He – and the company, and the computer he helped create – changed my life.
I didn’t hear about his death on Twitter. I was sitting on my Macbook Pro working on a wireframe for a new WordPress plugin I’m envisioning when I got a call from my partner, Steve Zehngut. He called me solely to let me know about Steve Job’s passing. It’s not ironic that Zengy and I met because of a Mac. It’s the story of my adult life.
I am thankful now for that chance meeting in San Francisco. I’m thankful that I was able to shake Steve Job’s hand, look him in the eye and thank him for sparking my career. He was gracious and said, “If you’ve succeeded, it’s because you’ve worked hard, but thank you.”
And yet there is a feeling of debt. And of real loss. I’ve never cried at the loss of a public figure before today. Call me a fanboy if you like. I don’t care. I owe a great deal to Steve Jobs. My entire business life was shaped by buying that first Macintosh in 1984. It shifted my career and set me on an entrepreneurial path I never, ever envisioned for myself. I owe a enormous debt to his vision. He will be greatly missed.
Thank you again, Steve. I hope we meet once more.