Thursday, August 25, 2011

iThink, therefore, i.

I consider it irrefutable evidence of the universe's sense of humor that such an uppercase individual will forever be associated with the lowercase i.  I empathize with what must surely be his family's joy, as he steps out of the limelight to rest a bit before the hearth.  And I hope that he has years of inspiration yet to share from his new perch as Chairman of the Board.

Still, Jobs has to feel a bit like Tom Sawyer today, hearing all these almost eulogies while still firmly abroad in the world of the living, hiding in the gallery.  And he certainly has the ego to enjoy them.  Who wouldn't?

If I were to get a few words at the funeral, before Steve revealed himself to the startled congregation, I would dwell on the significance of the lowercase i.  Jobs has, no doubt, long realized that when you decide on a product all by your lonesome, and when don't "test market" it to catch the mood of the herd, when you insist on doing it your way, and when you are right as often as he is, well folks are going to get a bit testy.  Nothing irritates us like someone else's success.  I choose to believe that this is where the whole lowercase i concept came from - in Jobs's inherent feel for marketing. IBM, the first company to play Goliath to Jobs's David, pointed the I to the company - "I B the Man."  So with the iMac, the ancestral i, Jobs pointed the i to the user: "i'm just here for you."  And somehow i became us.

But i might be wrong, mightn't i?

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