I first heard about this Apple company from my sophomore roommate Rob Lineweaver in 1998-1999. He had this small, ugly, boxy looking computer that didn’t run Windows 95. I didn’t want to know anything about it but he tried to tell me how great it was. I remember him saying that there were these yearly meetings about Apple and that the stock always went down and the up in some predictable pattern based on these meetings.
In 2001, my first year of medical school, I bought my first Apple product, the original iPod. I had no idea what it was; I just wanted a portable MP3 player and somehow came home with that one. I loved it and shortly thereafter bought my first Apple computer, a 14 inch iBook. That computer lasted through the most terrible years of my life (a horrible break up, almost dropping out of medical school) and then the best years of my life (meeting my wife, getting married, having a son). The screen finally died and I was so poor with no job, crushing student loan debt and a new family, that I couldn’t afford another.
I suffered for several years (with an HP laptop), got a job, got my finances in order and bought my second Apple computer, a 13 inch Macbook. The difference was so incredible that I vowed never to let cost be an excuse for quality.
As my success in business and family has increased so has my collection of iPods, iPod Touches, iPads, iPhones, Macbook Airs and iMacs. But the Apple “lifestyle” has little to do with the products but the approach to the creation and the reason for creation of the products.
- Accessibility for the novice
- Power for the expert
- Attention to detail
- Strength of conviction
Owning and using these tools in my social and professional life, and being involved in the Apple developer community, has given me a new way of viewing the world. I’ve learned to avoid the “race to the bottom.” To trust myself to have a vision, to work towards that vision, slowly, surely, without being crushed by the doubts of others. I’ve learned to strive towards perfection, always “innovating at the margins”. I’ve learned to love life and have gotten to share that joy with my family.
I had planned to and did buy my first share of Apple stock today; I wasn’t planning on it being a memorial.
Thank you, Steve.