Pictured here – Steve Jobs with Adobe founders Chuck Geschke and John Warnock. ©2011 Doug Menuez/Stanford University Library/Getty Images
We’re all still processing the news of Steve Jobs’ passing and reflecting on our interactions or influences throughout the years.
A few members of the Photoshop team wanted to share the imprint he has left on their lives. We gathered the following personal reflections and welcome your own comments and stories, as we pay homage to a brilliant man and industry icon.
“I remember clearly the day my life changed and the world changed along with me. That was the day I saw the Macintosh computer for the first time in 1984. Steve Jobs influenced the direction I took in life and was responsible for helping Adobe become the great company that it is today. He helped bring graphics and photography out of the dark ages and into the future.”
– Russell Brown, Sr. Creative Director
“Steve could be a challenging person to talk with, but those challenges were always to do better, to think harder. He had a deep understanding of technology but an even deeper understanding of how it could be a vital part of people’s lives, and a discussion with him could be wide-ranging and rich and surprising. He showed the industry that one could focus on building the ‘right’ products as opposed to the profitable products -and profits would follow. Design is about how things work not just about how things look. Focus is about choosing what not to do. We need to come back again and again to the principles he applied and the lessons he taught us. His influence will be missed. He will be missed. My condolences are with everyone who knew him far better than I did.”
– Mark Hamburg, Adobe Fellow
“I spent the first part of my career trying to get into Apple (finally did), spent the years there working on the landscape Steve created and since then – most of what I’ve done has been influenced by the way he shaped the industry. At one point in 1997, he called the Apple leadership team together to revitalize the company around a quest for excellence. That quest to find excellence in all that you do…I’ll always associate that with him whenever I approach any challenge – don’t give up, go further.
I was also watching TV last night and they were replaying the ‘Think Different’ ad. I remember when that campaign rolled out. At first when I saw it, it didn’t really sink in…but gradually, over time it did. Steve had sent out a message to the entire company when the campaign went live. The way Steve really opened up in that email impacted me…he said the concept was very personal for him and hoped that everyone else would be as impacted by it, as he was. That ad not only left a lasting impression, but established a philosophy that we all can make a difference.
Thank you, Steve for your influence on my life. You will always be remembered.”
– B. Winston Hendrickson, VP of Engineering – Digital Imaging
“Steve Jobs has certainly had an impact on the world. And each of us has our own personal story of how he and his innovations have changed us. After using my first Mac, I wandered on to a new career path which continues to be very fulfilling. I work at a company that was started with Steve’s help; on a product that was developed on a Mac (and for a Mac); and with many people who -like me- are inspired to ‘Think Different’ and strive for more. Thank you Steve.”
– Maria Yap, Product Management Director
“Even though I never knew him personally, I feel sad. I never worked with him, but throughout my career we crossed paths – whether it was Display, PostScript or NeXT Step. Seeing a great guy like him die was a shock to me, as it reminded me of our own mortality. It’s really beyond comprehension.
He really inspired people like me to even more firmly believe in doing the right thing and not to compromise. The one slogan I took away from working at Apple is ‘Think Different.’ How do you ‘Think Different?’ You insist and be defiant. I believe that has influenced me. His example encouraged me to do something that I believe in.”
– Jeff Chien, Principal Scientist
“Steve Jobs is a big part of why I moved to the Valley; his passion, charisma, leadership and vision were intoxicating to me from a young age. By chance, I met Steve once – shortly after he returned to Apple; I chose my words carefully and simply said, ‘thank you for making technology fun, for caring so much about your products – and for my career.’
My favorite Adobe applications were all born, built and tested on the Mac; my son is obsessed with Toy Story; I photograph my boy’s every development with my iPhone – Steve’s mission to ‘put a dent in the universe’ has certainly done so for mine.”
– Bryan O’Neil Hughes, Sr. Product Manager
“I never met Steve Jobs. I have no idea what he was like to work with. And I have no idea what he was truly like as a person. And yet, there was something about him that I, and many others, especially in the tech industry, found compelling. For me, it was his apparently relentless focus on distilling things down to their bare essence. There seemed to be a continual striving for clarity. Clarity of ideas, clarity of purpose, clarity of design…That clarity, and in a way purity, of the products he and others built, seemed to transcend the uglier aspects of life that sometimes wear us down – the daily slog, the dirt and grime, the complexity and moral ambiguity, the general messiness that is part of human life. What he helped create somehow, and in some very small way, touched on a more hopeful vision of the future that was simpler, clearer, and more beautiful.”
– Dave Howe, Director of Engineering
“From purchasing my first Mac with babysitting money, to viewing the first Toy Story, to Photoshop first on a Mac…All along, you showed me how to ‘Think Different.’ Thank you.”
– Jackie Lincoln-Owyang, Quality Engineering Manager
“My first computer was an Apple IIc. I begged my parents to buy it for me after spending time in front of an Apple II in grade school. By the time I was in 8th or 9th grade I had saved up enough money from delivering newspapers to buy a brand new Macintosh SE. I never gravitated to video games. I had to create. I’d spend hundreds of hours painting and creating images in MacPaint. Throughout the years, the Macintosh was my conduit for creativity, as my interest migrated to music, video and photography.
The Mac has always had a special place in my heart. Eleven years ago, my first task at Adobe was to help bring Photoshop 7.0 to OS X. My most recent assignment was to help migrate Photoshop CS5 to Cocoa/64bit. I would not be who I am, or doing what I do today, without Apple, the Macintosh and Steve Jobs.”
– Jeff Tranberry, Chief Customer Advocate
“In the early 80’s when the personal computer market was still in its infancy, I had spent time using (and was enamored by) the Atari 800 computer. At the time, there was a decent knock-off of Pac Man (called Gobstopper) that I constantly dreamed about playing. When it was time for me to get my first computer in 1982, I wanted to get that Atari 800 but my father refused and instead requested that I get an Apple II+ so that I would be forced to learn how to use computers instead of just play games on them. I spent the next few years of my life investing all my free time learning that system (and later Apple II models) inside and out.
Thanks to Jobs (and Wozniak) – the time I spent exploring software and hardware during those years provided me with the training and background for the work I do today on the Photoshop team testing and developing software.”
– Adam Jerugim, Sr. Quality Engineer
“If I hadn’t had the chance to see what could be done using Digital Darkroom on a Macintosh SE back in 1990, I would have become a therapist…It’s just one of the many reasons that the world is a better place because of the work that Steve Jobs and his team at Apple accomplished over the years!”
– Julieanne Kost, Sr. Digital Imaging Evangelist
“When I was 14, I somehow convinced my single mother to buy an Apple II+ with 48k and a single floppy drive. Over the course of time, it became my hobby, my ‘every-waking-moment-obsession,’ the foundation of my education and eventually, my profession these many years since. I can’t imagine what my life would be today without what Steve Jobs made possible those many years ago and many times since. Rest in Peace Steve, and know you have made a difference.”
– Jon Clauson, Sr. Computer Scientist II
“I worked with Steve Jobs when he started NeXT. What I remember the most was his tremendous attention to detail, and desire for everything to be premium quality. That and his ‘dent the universe’ attitude fundamentally changed my path – for the better.”
– Andrew Coven, Director of Engineering
“Thank you Steve for inspiring my love of technology as a child and for the platforms I so loved to code on. Don’t know what I’d be doing today if it weren’t for the Apple II and the Mac.”
– John Penn II, Sr. Solutions Architect