Remembering Steve

To mark the one-year anniversary of Steve Jobs’s passing, Apple posted the following tribute on the homepage of their website on October 5, 2012:



It is still up at the time of this writing. I suspect it will stay here for a week. For future visitors of the site, I have republished the video in the new Misc Movies & Recordings section.

The images that can be seen in the video are, in order of appearance:

  • Steve Jobs in his home with Macintosh, 1984 (by Norman Seeff)
  • with MacBook Air, Macworld 2008
  • with the original iMac, 1998
  • with the first iPod, 2001
  • with iPhone, Macworld 2007
  • again, at Macworld 2007 doing the joke with the Starbucks employee on a call
  • laughing at his desk, 1984 (by Norman Seeff)
  • at the opening of the New York 5th Avenue Apple retail store, May 2006
  • outside the 5th Avenue retail store, same day
  • working on the Apple I, 1976 (by Joe Molena)
  • at home in summer 2004, by Diana Walker

As far as Steve’s voice is concerned, the extracts come from:

  • Macworld 2007, 9 January 2007
  • original iMac introduction, 6 May 1998
  • iPod introduction, 23 October 2001
  • Macworld 2007 again (for both the introduction and the phone prank)
  • iPad 2 introduction, Steve’s second-to-last keynote, 2 March 2011

All these keynotes can be seen in the Steve Jobs Keynotes section of the site.

The soundtrack is Yo-Yo Ma’s interpretation of Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1, which I suspected on Twitter. Macstories has a nice story on how they are sure of it, because Yo-Yo “plays the first four Bach suites tuning down his cello a full semitone” to be closer to how the music sounded back in the 17th century. 

I found the video to be very well made, and frankly, quite moving. Tim Cook’s letter, who picked his words just as carefully and with the same talent as Steve himself used to do on such occasions, were also very appropriate.


Tim Cook's letter

Was WWDC’11 the first “post-Steve keynote”?

He’s here, but this is the first post-Steve keynote.

This is what every Twitter follower of Mac uber-blogger John Gruber read during Monday’s WWDC keynote.

Quite a surprising statement — one could on the contrary argue that seing Steve back on stage, even though he is still officially on a medical leave of absence, is a supplemental affirmation of his enduring commitment to Apple.

But this is one more of several indications of his possible progressive departure:

  • in the Fortune piece Inside Apple, Adam Lashinsky wrote about the so-called Apple University, a program that Steve Jobs put Yale professor and management guru Joel Poldony in charge of. Its goal is to make business cases on Apple history for future Apple leaders — in short, to codify Steve’s management. In a way, it is reassuring that he thinks about the future of the company without him… but obviously it means he has his departure in mind already. For some time now, because the program was started in late 2008.
  • second of course is the upcoming authorized biography, iSteve: The Book of Jobs, available in March 2012. Steve has been super-secretive as Apple’s CEO, and one can wonder whether this sudden publicity is not a testament that he’s slowly accepting his (overwhelming) place in history, and stepping back as a day-to-day leader of Apple to become more of an old wise genius watching over his baby. Who knows?
  • the third is more anecdotal, but quite telling to me. If you watched carefully on Apple’s homepage, you noticed this change just as I did:
    I chose the October 2008 keynote because during that show, Steve also shared the stage, with Tim Cook and Jony Ive. But WWDC 2011 is the first time I see the other keynote participants (including recurrent ones such as Scott Forstall and Phil Schiller) being put front and center on like this. I am certain this is no coincidence — Steve Jobs really must be preparing the press/the community/the world for Apple’s future keynotes, without him as master showman.

Only time will tell, but perhaps 2012-2013 will see the departure of Steve Jobs as official Apple CEO.