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Rajen Garabadu
Thursday , October 06, 2011 at 11 : 17

We all do jobs, but it takes a Steve to change lives


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It's a sad day for citizens of the world. Rarely does one get to see a single individual impacting so many lives across the world as Steve Jobs has done. History has several examples of scientists and doctors who have revolutionized the way people live through their inventions. But most of them have been limited to a single invention. I do not wish to take away anything from these great contributors. I only mention this to emphasize that Steve Jobs had the ability to repeatedly transform the way people live and work. When you think that his latest invention cannot be bettered, he comes back and surprises you with yet another. Such was the amazing ability of Jobs not just to think out of the box but to see the thought through to its conclusion.

It has been a subject of immense speculation how he manages to keep all his products under wrap till the moment he chooses to reveal it to the world. And when he does so, his presentation always culminates in a standing ovation from his audience at San Francisco. Not just the audience present on location, the world watches with amazement how this visionary plans to change their lives yet again.

When I traveled to US six months ago to attend the world's most awaited annual broadcast technology exhibition (NAB), I discovered that Apple never participates in such fairs though its products are increasingly being used in television today to give viewers a much improved viewing experience. What I did notice is that nine out of ten Americans I saw had either an iPhone, iPad, iPod or a Mac. And almost all of them were hooked on to it, using one of the devises while traveling to work, college, school or gymnasium. Though the percentage of users elsewhere may not be as high as seen in the US of A, but the number is steadily growing worldwide.

I visited an Apple Store at Vegas to buy my only Apple - iPod Nano. After I had purchased what I wanted, I enquired if I could buy the iPad 2 off the shelf. What I learnt from the friendly customer executive, I had not expected. He said I could try my luck each morning by queuing up as early as possible. When I asked how early, he said 4 AM. When I further quizzed him if I'd surely get it if I reached at that time, he said that it depended on my luck - on how many people have queued up before me. In India, people queue up that early only to manage a darshan at a heavily frequented religious place or for getting nursery school forms for their children. The latter I understand doesn't happen anymore.

The salesman also said that the apple stores usually open at 10 am each day and it is only to meet the heavy demand for iPad 2 that they open at 9 am. They get some stock each day which are sold between 9-10 AM depending on how much stock they have. This is not peculiar to the US. The apple product launches in India are the most awaited and the frenzy is unbelievable. News channels usually do lip-service to business news coverage unless it is of national importance or impact. But the Apple product launches always end up in LIVE rolling coverage.

It is not the ingenuity or vision of Steve Jobs that is his biggest asset. His purpose of existence was based on how he could impact people's lives each day. Most of us lead our lives just working for ourselves with very little or no impact on other people's lives. Steve made it a mission to live each day as his last and evaluated his contribution at the end of the day.

If a quarter of the world's population can follow this, this world will be a terrific place to live in. I am not for a moment suggesting that the rest of us can contribute as much as Steve did, but even if we manage to do our own small bit, it is likely to make a huge difference.

Steve Jobs, RIP


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Rajen Garabadu is Chief Executive Producer - IBN18 Network.
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