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Death and the Birth of the iPhone Launch Day – why it means so much to me.

The world’s first iPhone was announced in January of 2007, it’s release came six months later in June.  June 29th to be exact.  I know, because I have June 28, 2007 tattooed on my right shoulder.  Not because I wanted to immortalize the eve of the birth of the world’s first iPhone, but because it’s the day that my world saw the death of someone very near and dear to me.  My brother..

Between January and June of 2007, I watched and re-watched the WWDC keynote in which Steve Jobs announced the iPhone countless times.  I set aside money the buy the phone without putting a strain on my family. (Most people forget that at launch, the first iPhone was $599 – a few months later it was dropped to $399). I poured over rumors that were running rampant across the internet — will they add any extra features? What does it do that wasn’t announced? Where’s the best place to stand in line on launch day?  It was the biggest news in the tech world at the time – but, I wasn’t alone, the whole tech industry was eating, drinking, and sleeping iPhone.

Suddenly bigger news in my world came.  My brother was dead.  My world came crashing down. Suddenly, I was alone. Suddenly there was something bigger than the iPhone.

Suddenly launch lines didn’t matter, gigabytes didn’t matter, none of it mattered.  The money that I had sat aside to purchase the iPhone instead went to purchase a new suit and shoes for the funeral.

I remember that at the visitation, I was standing outside of the funeral parlor on the front porch and saw several of my brothers’ school mates huddled around a small shiny object.  It was strange, you could tell that they all wanted to be excited about their new phone, but couldn’t.  I walked over to the group and for the first time saw an iPhone in the wild.  I asked if they would mind if I took a look at it.As it was placed in my hand, for a very short moment, my world returned to a sense of normalcy.  It all just felt so… right.  My fingers glided across the screen with ease, tapping, pinching, swiping.  As I pressed the home button, I was brought back to reality, the small smile that I had cracked, returned to solidarity.  I knew that eventually, I’d have that feeling again, but it wouldn’t be today, it wouldn’t be for a while – a long while.After the funeral, I started setting aside money again for my iPhone and on several occasions, tried to walk into the AT&T store to purchase one, I never got past the front door, my emotions flooded over me, they were mixed, and powerful enough to prevent me from opening the door.  After several failed purchasing tempts, my wife surprised me with the 1st generation iPhone after work one day.  “Aren’t you proud of me, it’s the big one?” she said.  As my eyes began to water, I cracked a resounding, “yes”.Eventually, I became an iPhone developer, and have released several successful apps on the store.  I’ve worked with everyone from small startups to fortune 500 companies.   Since then I have also owned (or bought for my wife) every model of iPhone that Apple has made.  All on launch day.  I’ve woken up at insane hours and stood in line, or I’ve preordered at odd hours for delivery.  I know that i’m not alone in the excitement of launch day, millions of people stand in line, campout, or spend all day waiting for the UPS or FedEx driver to knock on the door.

For me, I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas, the excitement building, until that first “slide to unlock”.For a brief moment, I transcend to a world where everything just seems “right”.   To what should have been.

The iPhone Introduction: Five Years Later

Five years ago today, at the Macword keynote, Steve Jobs took the stage and changed history.  Before a packed crowd (and millions of others online that watched the live blog feeds) Steve began introducing “three” new products.  “An iPod, a Phone, and an Internet Communicator.” Steve said, as the graphics on the screen behind him began to swirl.  As the icons for each device swirled faster and faster, Steve kept on repeating, “an iPod, a Phone, and an Internet Communicator… An iPod, a Phone, and an Internet Communicator.”

“Are you getting it?” he said with a coy grin on his face.

The world DID get it, and after years of anticipation, the iPhone was reviled.

Most phones in 2007, looked like this.  If a phone had a touchscreen, it was small and used some sort of awkward stylus.  The internet was all but useable on every device at the time, and storage was always lacking.

The iPhone had a beautiful, multitouch screen, and shipped in 4GB and 8GB flavors.  He said that by 2008 they wanted to ship 10M units and capture 1% of the mobile market share – some critics scoffed at the notion – but not only did they reach their 10M mark, they beat it.

During the keynote, Steve Jobs said:

Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything.

Steve was right.  That day, he and the countless people at Apple that made the iPhone possible, changed everything.

As the countdown to the iPhone release began, little did I know that a few months later, everything would change again.


The Day After the Day

Today is the day after the day.  Lots of nice tributes coming out from all around the world.

Take this Steve Jobs tribute logo created by Jonathan Mak, a 19-year old in Hong Kong for example, I think it’s a great homage and would make an even better tattoo.

Original Source:

A Steve Jobs narrated version of The Crazy Ones has also been going around the net today – it’s hauntingly beautiful and always inspiring.

Finally, this post by Gruber, is quite possibly one of the most poignant tributes that I’ve read.  It paints beautiful picture of peace.

Edit: As usual, Bono has some great and poetic words.

Thank you, Steve

History has shown that I’m not the greatest at this blogging thing.  I don’t know why.  I have plenty to say, and yes, some people actually care about it.

Today changes that.  Today the world lost a great visionary. A man that always challenged the status quo, and thought outside of the box. He was crazy enough to change the world – not just once, but many times over. The world is a different place because he lived. He’s on my short list of heroes and always will be.  He loved what he did, and the world is a better place because of that.

To quote Steve himself:

Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.

Thank you, Steve.

Second iPhone App Approved

Received approval email from Apple that my second iPhone app is approved- it’s not showing up in the store yet but will be soon. Stay Tuned!

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