I’ve been a little bit uncomfortable with how some people jumped right on the trending topic of Steve Job’s passing this week in obvious self promotion, but when I die, this is the kind of thing I would want passed around if I could live as large as he did.
Via my friend Suzanne who asked her friend Mark who works at the Apple Store in Seattle what it was like this week.
“So sad here. All the iPads went off at the same time with news notifications. Our customers started crying and we all lost it. Within seconds, they all seemed to leave. Our Apple store is always insanely busy, but for 5 minutes it was just us. Surreal.
Within an hour, people just started to come in for therapy. I’ve …never hugged so many strangers. An 80 year old woman came by the shrine that spontaneously appeared, asking me if it was ok to leave an Apple she brought. More hugs and tears. Management gathered us to read Tim’s memo. As the only former Microsoft guy there, I felt compelled to offer a eulogy, explaining to my younger coworkers the difference in the two companies DNA. Now new customers came in, not hearing the word. It was mass grief counseling for all of us, with the customers supporting us.
I came into work 4 hours early, just to be around my peeps. We marveled at the amazing posts in Flicker, whose spontaneous photos from all over the world captured the mood better than any blog.
It’s now over 24 hours since we heard the news and it feels our grief process is stagnant. If anything it just gets worse as it sinks in.
The S in the 4gs will now and forever stand for Steve.
I was on the air in radio when Lennon was shot. This seems sadder, if that’s possible. The Onion had it right. We lost the only man who had any fucking idea what is going on.
Darwin, save us…
Mark… outside the Seattle Apple store. “
Can you build a company and have employees and customers feel that way when you’re gone? Yes. Can you build a family and have friends who feel that way when you pass on? Yes. Do you have to be perfect to accomplish this? Obviously and thankfully, No.
What makes the difference with Apple? I think it is the mix of fun, creativity and productivity – great design and high value of the products – one side of the reaction…
The other side is Trust and Respect – Apple has been generous with both towards employees – even on the floor level of the Apple Stores, empowering them to take time with customers, grant repairs and replacements without a big deal and letting them express some individual personality. Apple has also been generous with Trust and Respect through the employees to the customers and we LOVE them for this!
Steve Jobs made clear and distinct choices about how things would be run and done to create this environment and people realized this week that we have personal feelings and something beyond loyalty to a product. Apple lets us be and do and create and dream and believe that the world can be a better place and each person has value.
I want my companies, customers, family and friends to feel that way too. Thank you Apple, thank you Steve, thank you Mark and the other Apple employees for making this real to so many of us.